Arcapta is a prescription medicine licensed to prevent airway spasms caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It comes as a capsule that is put into a Neohaler that punctures the capsule; the powder is then inhaled using your own breath. Although most people tolerate this medicine well, side effect can occur and may include coughing, throat pain, and headaches.
Arcapta is made by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
How Does Arcapta Work?
In normal, healthy lungs, air can move easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways. However, certain lung diseases, including COPD, cause the muscles around these airways to tighten. This narrows the airways and makes it harder to breathe. This is called bronchospasm.
Arcapta belongs to a class of drugs called beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short. Beta agonists stimulate beta receptors in the body, including those on the muscles around the airways. This stimulation causes the muscles to relax, which opens up the airways and allows more air to get into and through the lungs. Arcapta also has some effects on decreasing the activity of mast cells in the lungs, which play an important role in inflammation and allergic reactions.
Beta agonists are usually divided into two categories: short-acting and long-acting beta agonists. Arcapta is a long-acting beta agonist (LABA). As a long-acting beta agonist, it is used on a scheduled basis to help prevent symptoms; it is not a "rescue" medication to be used as needed.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Arcapta [package insert]. East Hanover, NJ: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation;2011 July.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed August 10, 2011.
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