FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A new drug therapy may help cut down on the lung function loss experienced by patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a new study says.
According to the second August issue of American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, a combination of salmeterol, a -agonist, and fluticasone propiniate, an inhaled cortical steroid, proved a successful therapy in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted in 42 countries.
"Pharmacotherapy with salmeterol plus fluticasone propionate, or the components, reduces the rate of decline on [lung function] in patients with moderate to severe COPD, thus slowing disease progression," study author Dr. Bartolome R. Celli, a professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, said in a news release issued by the journal's publisher. "To date, smoking cessation is the only intervention that has conclusively been shown to alter the rate of decline in [lung function]."
Celli said this is the first demonstration of an effective drug therapy in COPD.
The rate of lung function decline was similar despite variables such as sex, age, ethnicity and body-mass index.
"Although treatment did not abolish the accelerated decline in lung function [that occurs with COPD], it did ameliorate it substantially," Celli wrote.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about COPD.
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