Indacaterol is the first long-acting β2-agonist (LABAs) approved for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that allows for once-daily (OD) administration. It is rapidly acting, with an onset of action in 5 minutes, like salbutamol and formoterol but with a sustained bronchodilator effect, that last for 24 hours, like tiotropium. In long-term clinical studies (12 weeks to 1 year) in patients with moderate to severe COPD, OD indacaterol 150 or 300 μg improved lung function (primary endpoint) significantly more than placebo, and improvements were significantly greater than twice-daily formoterol 12 μg or salmeterol 50 μg, and noninferior to OD tiotropium bromide 18 μg. Indacaterol was well tolerated at all doses and with a good overall safety profile. Cost-utility analyses show that indacaterol 150 μg has lower total costs and better outcomes than tiotropium and salmeterol. These findings suggest that indacaterol can be considered a first choice drug in the treatment of the patient with mild/moderate stable COPD. However, in people with COPD who remain symptomatic on treatment with indacaterol, adding a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) is the preferable option. In any case, it is advisable to combine indacaterol with a OD inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), such as mometasone furoate or ciclesonide, in patients with low FEV1, and, in those patients who have many symptoms and a high risk of exacerbations, to combine it with a LAMA and a OD ICS.
Keywords: Long-acting β2-agonists (LABAs); chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); combination therapy; indacaterol.