According to a recent study posted in Clinical Research in Pulmonology, a transdermal tulobuterol patch may help patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) “exercise for longer at a relatively high intensity”. Because COPD often limits the ability to perform even menial physical activity, this patch could vastly improve quality of life and revolutionize therapies for those living with COPD.
The patch “was designed to maintain [tulobuterol, a long-acting bronchodilator] level at constant, effective concentrations over a 24-hour period” according to lead researcher Yoshiaki Minakata of the Third Department of Internal Medicine in Wakayama Medical University.
While the study only had eight participants, the treatment did show improvement in the “duration of physical activity for most of the patients.” Since the participation was limited in this primary study, the researchers have suggested any future studies be conducted with larger cohorts in which “the influence of comorbidities and muscular weakness” are more clearly stated.
It has been shown in other studies that increased exercise helps to strengthen the lungs, improving function over a period of time. The difficult part for COPD patients is often the exercising itself. By providing an easy-to-apply patch that helps release a drug over a period of time, COPD patients are more likely to find exercising less exhaustive and more beneficial to the treatment of their condition.