BACKGROUND--Nedocromil sodium, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is effective in the treatment of asthma. Its efficacy in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not been investigated. METHODS--Fifty four non-allergic patients with COPD were randomised to 10 weeks of treatment with placebo or nedocromil sodium (4 x 8 mg/day) in a double blind study. RESULTS--Nedocromil sodium treatment had no effect on airway responsiveness to histamine, methacholine, and adenosine-5'-monophosphate, pulmonary function, and symptom scores. Both patients and clinicians favoured treatment with nedocromil sodium, however, and the number of dropouts (because of exacerbations) was fewer during treatment with the drug. CONCLUSIONS--Longer trials will be necessary to assess if nedocromil sodium can reduce the frequency of exacerbations and the decrease in pulmonary function, eventually leading to a better quality of life in patients with COPD.
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