Combination Therapy with Single Inhaler Budesonide/Formoterol Compared with High Dose of Fluticasone Propionate Alone in Patients with Moderate Persistent Asthma
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- Bateman, E.D., Bantje, T.A., Gomes, M.J. et al. Am J Respir Med (2003) 2: 275. doi:10.1007/BF03256655
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The efficacy and safety of Symbicort®1 (budesonide and formoterol in a single inhaler) were compared with those of a high dose of the commonly used corticosteroid fluticasone propionate in patients with moderate persistent asthma.
This randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel-group study involved 373 patients with asthma (mean age 42 years; FEV1 78% of predicted; reversibility 21%). After a 2-week run-in period, during which patients received budesonide 200μg twice daily, they were randomly assigned to treatment with either Symbicort® Turbuhaler® (budesonide/formoterol 160/4.5μg, one inhalation twice daily) or Flovent®/Flixotide® Diskus™ (fluticasone propionate 250μg twice daily) for 12 weeks.
Significantly greater increases in morning PEF, the primary efficacy variable, were observed in patients treated with budesonide/formoterol compared with fluticasone propionate (27.4 L/min vs 7.7 L/min; p < 0.001). Evening PEF and clinic FEV1 also favored budesonide/formoterol compared with fluticasone propionate (p < 0.001), as did use of reliever medication (p = 0.04) and the proportion of reliever-free days (p < 0.001). There were also numerical improvements in symptom-free days (60.4% vs 55.5%), night-time awakenings (7.9% vs 9.6%) and asthma-control days (57.8% vs 52.4%) in favor of budesonide/formoterol. The risk of an exacerbation was reduced by 32% in the budesonide/formoterol group compared with the fluticasone propionate group (p < 0.05). Both treatments were well tolerated.
Symbicort® (budesonide/formoterol in a single inhaler) was more effective than a high dose of fluticasone propionate in improving lung function, reducing use of reliever medication and improving control of moderate persistent asthma.