What Is Roflumilast Used For?

If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), your healthcare provider may prescribe roflumilast. This medicine is approved for adults age 18 and older, and is specifically used to prevent exacerbations in people with severe COPD. Although it is not exactly clear how this drug works, it is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. At this time, there are no "off-label," or unapproved, uses for roflumilast.

An Overview of Uses for Roflumilast

Roflumilast (Daliresp™) is a prescription medication used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is more commonly known as COPD. It is the first phosphodiesterase type-4 (PDE4) inhibitor medication approved for use in the United States. Unlike most COPD medications that come as inhalers, roflumilast is an oral tablet.
 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term lung disease in which the lungs are damaged, making it difficult to breathe. In COPD, the airways (the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs) are partly obstructed, making it difficult to get air in and out. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two kinds of COPD. While smoking is the most common cause of this lung disease, there are other possible causes of COPD.
 
Common COPD symptoms may include:
 
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe)
  • Sputum (mucus) production
  • Shortness of breath, especially with exercise
  • Chest tightness.
 
Depending on the severity of your COPD, you healthcare provider may recommend a number of medications as part of your COPD treatment, including:
 
  • Bronchodilators, including short-acting and long-acting bronchodilators
  • Steroids, such as inhaled steroids
  • A PDE4 inhibitor, such as roflumilast
  • A yearly flu shot
  • A pneumococcal vaccine.
 
Lifestyle changes are also recommended (see Living With COPD and COPD Rehabilitation).
 
Roflumilast is specifically approved to prevent exacerbations in people with severe COPD associated with chronic bronchitis and a history of exacerbations.
 

Roflumilast Drug Information

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