The FDA has approved GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance’s Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate and vilanterol inhalation powder) for the long-term, once-daily, maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. It is also approved to reduce exacerbations of COPD in patients with a history of exacerbations.
Breo Ellipta is a combination of fluticasone furoate, an inhaled corticosteroid, and vilanterol, a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA). Breo Ellipta works by decreasing inflammation in the lungs and helping the muscles around the airways of the lungs stay relaxed to increase airflow and reduce exacerbations in patients with COPD. The safety and efficacy of Breo Ellipta were evaluated in 7,700 patients with a clinical diagnosis of COPD. Those treated showed improved lung function and reduced exacerbations compared to placebo.
The drug carries a boxed warning that LABAs increase the risk of asthma-related death. The safety and efficacy of Breo Ellipta in patients with asthma have not been established, and it is not approved for the treatment of asthma.
Breo Ellipta may cause serious side effects, including increased risks of pneumonia and bone fractures. The most common side effects reported by patients using Breo Ellipta included inflammation of the nasal passage, upper respiratory tract infection, headache and oral candidiasis.