Where is Roflumilast used?

Roflumilast is a medication used to prevent and control symptoms of shortness of breath or wheezing. Wherein, it is caused by ongoing lung disease or a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD which includes bronchitis. This should be used along with medications such as bronchodilators (salmeterol or ipratropium) to treat COPD. Controlling the symptoms of breathing problems could lessen time lost from school or work.

Roflumilast is a selective phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor. This is supplied as a tablet for oral administration. This has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

How does Roflumilast work?

Roflumilast is a PDE4 inhibitor that blocks the action of PDE4. PDE4 is an enzyme that plays a critical part in some pathways in the body. It includes the pathways that affect the inflammatory response and the immune system. It also impacts smooth muscle relaxation in the body, including smooth muscle relaxation in the airways. By blocking PDE4, this drug acts as anti-inflammatory medication, as well as a smooth muscle relaxant. Inflammation and bronchoconstriction or the tightening of the muscles in the airway both play key roles in the exacerbation and development of COPD. By inhibiting these processes, a PDE4 medication may be able to reduce COPD symptoms and exacerbations for those taking it.

How is Roflumilast taken?

The recommended dosage for this medication is based on your condition and response. The usual dose of this is one 500 mcg tablet once a day. It is also common for some to take 250 mcg once daily for the first four weeks of the treatment. After that, your doctor may increase your dose to 500 mcg. You may take the medicine with or without food.

Follow your doctor’s prescription very carefully. Take it at the same time each day. Do not take less or more of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. This medication may control your condition but does not cure it. Continue to take Roflumilast even if you feel well. Do not stop taking the medicine without talking to your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of Roflumilast?

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Minor weight loss
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Dizziness
  • Flu symptoms
  • Back pain
  • Acute renal failure and acute pancreatitis

Let your doctor know if you have these side effects:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Mood/mental changes
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Shaking or tremors

What are the precautions in taking Roflumilast?

  • Before taking this treatment, inform your doctor if you have any allergies.
  • This is only prescribed in pregnant women when needed. Call your doctor right away if you get pregnant while taking this medicine.
  • Consult your doctor if you are breastfeeding women.
  • This drug may make you dizzy. Do not use machinery, drive, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. 
  • Alcohol can make you dizzier. Limit alcoholic beverages while taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor your medical history especially of heart disease, liver disease, HIV, lupus, herpes, tuberculosis, or mental/mood disorders.