Seretide for obstructive lung disease

Kenneth R Chapman
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 2002, 3 (3): 341-50
Seretide (Advair [North America], GlaxoSmithKline) is an inhaler combination formulation intended for the maintenance therapy of obstructive airways disease. Seretide was developed and made available initially as three multi-dose, dry powder inhaler formulations delivering 50 microg/puff of the long acting beta(2) agonist salmeterol and either 100, 250 or 500 microg/puff of the inhaled corticosteroid fluticasone propionate. In addition to the initial multi-dose dry powder inhaler system (Diskus or Accuhaler), a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free pressurised aerosol formulation has become available. Studied mostly extensively as a maintenance therapy for patients with persistent asthma, the combination inhaler is at least equivalent to its components administered separately and is superior to monotherapy with salmeterol or inhaled corticosteroid in both paediatric and adult populations. The combination has a logical role in the treatment of moderate-to-severe asthma, offering the advantage of increased convenience and possibly improved compliance. In addition to improvements in lung function, symptom scores and quality of life, the combination therapy reduces exacerbation rates, an outcome that contributes to favourable cost-effectiveness. A role as initial maintenance therapy in all forms of persistent asthma is also plausible but there are fewer data concerning the impact of Seretide in milder forms of persistent asthma. Clinical trials are underway to examine the potential role of Seretide in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Salmeterol has been shown to be an effective first-line bronchodilator in COPD and fluticasone has been shown to reduce the frequency and or severity of exacerbations in COPD patients in two key trials. At a time when the prevalence of both asthma and COPD is increasing, Seretide is a valuable step in the management of these common obstructive lung diseases.

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