Meinke L, Chitkara R, Krishna G., Expert Opin Pharmacother. 8(1):23-37., 2007 Jan 01
AbstractChronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the fourth leading cause of death, seems to be increasing in worldwide prevalence, and carries with it a significant health and economic burden. Smoking cessation is the only available intervention proven to halt disease progression.
The authors discuss the role of the newly approved agent, varenicline, in promotion of smoking cessation. The remainder of presently available therapies treat the symptoms of COPD, but do not impact progression of disease. As the understanding of the pathogenesis of COPD improves, new targets for therapies are emerging.
Given the large number of potential targets and the results of recent studies, it seems unlikely that a single new agent will result in a cure. Rather, management of COPD should involve a multi-pronged approach including smoking cessation, bronchodilators, treatment of infection, and eventual targeting of inflammatory pathways and genetic predispositions.
In this article, the authors discuss presently available therapies as well as agents under development.