Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc announced yesterday that COMBIVENT RESPIMAT is now available by prescription in the United States. Combivent Respimat is a propellant-free inhaler that uses a slow-moving mist to deliver the same active ingredients as COMBIVENT Inhalation Aerosol, which is delivered in a metered dose inhaler (COMBIVENT MDI).

Combivent Respimat is indicated for use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on a regular aerosol bronchodilator who continue to have evidence of bronchospasm and who require a second bronchodilator.

Combivent Respimat requires one inhalation per dose as compared to Combivent MDI, which requires two inhalations per dose. Combivent Respimat offers a dose indicator to inform patients of the amount of remaining medication in the inhaler, and the device locks when all of the medication has been used. When used as directed, each Combivent Respimat delivers 30 days worth of treatment compared to 25 days worth of treatment in each Combivent MDI, so Combivent Respimat patients may require two less inhalers over the course of a year.

Combivent Respimat was developed in response to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty requiring the phase-out of inhalers that use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as propellants, such as Combivent MDI. Combivent Respimat uses a spring mechanism to release the medication, rather than a propellant, so it does not release CFCs.

Combivent Respimat is now available to patients by prescription, and to allow adequate time to transition, Combivent MDI will be available until mid-2013. As of July 2013, Combivent Respimat will be the only Combivent product available.

Clinical studies in patients with COPD have shown that the combination of ipratropium bromide and albuterol sulfate provides patients significantly greater improvement in lung function than either component alone.

In a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo- and active-controlled clinical trial, Combivent Respimat was shown to be clinically comparable to Combivent MDI, in terms of FEV1. In the study, treatment was administered to patients with COPD four times a day.

Source: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc