Those of you who use inhaled medication for your lung disease will recognize the fact that your inhaler usually contains more than one medication. This plan of treatment has evolved over many years of testing and experience. The most common combination has been some type of medication to help open up the airways. This is called a bronchodilator. The second most common medication to be included in a dual acting inhaler is a medication to reduce inflammation. This is called a steroid.

There are side effects to any medication that may be given for any disease treatment. Although when used in inhaled form steroids have limited side effects, they are not zero.

There is a family of enzymes in our bodies called PDI’s. The full name is phosphodiesterase inhibitors (quite a mouthful). This is the family of enzymes that gave us Viagra (a PD 5 inhibitor). It has now been found and studied that a nebulized medication which is a combination of a PD 3 and PD4 inhibitor has both bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory effect and can help patients reduce flare ups and improve lung function.

The potential here is that we may now have one drug that actually has two beneficial functions that we are looking for in our treatment of certain common lung diseases. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory effect will also improve the safety profile. I look for the pharmaceutical company to submit this drug for consideration to the Food and Drug Administration soon.