The use of roflumilast in COPD: a review


  • Andrea Zanini | Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Insubria Varese, Italy.
  • Francesca Cherubino Operative Unit of Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Salvatore Maugeri Foundation (IRCCS), Tradate (VA), Italy.
  • Patrizia Pignatti Laboratory of Immunology, Autonomous Service of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Salvatore Maugeri Foundation (IRCCS), Pavia, Italy.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Chronic inflammation and exacerbations play a central role in the progression of the disease. Currently, treatment options for COPD have been shown to improve the progressive decline in lung-function and/or decrease mortality rates. Roflumilast, a phosphodiesterase- 4 inhibitor, is an anti-inflammatory drug which has been licensed as an add-on therapy for COPD patients with forced expiratory volume in the first second <50% and frequent exacerbations. Clinical trials have demonstrated that roflumilast improves lung function and reduces exacerbation frequency. Roflumilast has a mechanism of action which allows it to obtain a significant additive effect to current therapeutic options for COPD patients. It is generally well tolerated, although the most common adverse effects include diarrhea, nausea, weight loss, and headache. This review article provides an overview of the positive effects of roflumilast on lung function, exacerbation frequency and glucose metabolism, and its interaction with concomitant inhaled treatments.



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Roflumilast, Daxas, COPD, Exacerbations, Lung Function
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How to Cite
Zanini, Andrea, Francesca Cherubino, and Patrizia Pignatti. 2015. “The Use of Roflumilast in COPD: A Review”. Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease 79 (3-4).

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