COPD Home > Arcapta Uses

If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, your healthcare provider may prescribe Arcapta to help prevent airway spasms. This medicine is a type of beta agonist and works to improve airflow by allowing the muscles around the airways to relax. In some cases, a healthcare provider may recommend off-label uses for Arcapta, such as for treating asthma or other breathing problems.

What Is Arcapta Used For?

Arcapta™ (indacaterol maleate) is a prescription medication used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (more commonly known as COPD). It belongs to a class of asthma and COPD medications known as beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short. In particular, it is a long-acting beta agonist.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a long-term lung disease in which the lungs are damaged, making it difficult to breathe. In COPD, the airways (the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs) are partly obstructed, making it difficult to get air in and out. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two kinds of COPD. While smoking is the most common cause of COPD, there are other possible causes.
Some of the common symptoms of COPD may include:
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe)
  • Sputum (mucus) production
  • Shortness of breath, especially with exercise
  • Chest tightness.
Depending on the severity of your COPD, you healthcare provider may recommend a number of medications as part of your COPD treatment, including:
  • Bronchodilators (including short-acting and long-acting bronchodilators)
  • Steroids (such as inhaled steroids)
  • A yearly flu shot
  • A pneumococcal vaccine.
Lifestyle changes are also recommended (see Living With COPD and COPD Rehabilitation). Arcapta is a long-acting bronchodilator, which means that it helps open up the airways. It is used once a day, every day to help prevent symptoms. It is not used as a "rescue" medication.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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