Fluticasone propionate/salmeterol combination compared with montelukast for the treatment of persistent asthma

David S Pearlman, Martha V White, Allen K Lieberman, Pamela J Pepsin, Chris Kalberg, Amanda Emmett, Brian Bowers, Kathleen A Rickard, Paul Dorinsky
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2002, 88 (2): 227-35

BACKGROUND: Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation and bronchoconstriction. Medications that are able to effectively treat both components are advantageous.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta2-agonist combination product with a leukotriene antagonist for initial maintenance therapy in patients who were symptomatic while receiving short-acting beta2-agonists alone.

METHODS: A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, multicenter study was conducted in 432 patients 15 years of age and older with persistent asthma who were symptomatic on short-acting beta2-agonists alone. Fluticasone propionate 100 microg and salmeterol 50 microg combination product (FSC) twice daily or montelukast 10 mg once daily was administered.

RESULTS: At endpoint, compared with montelukast, FSC significantly increased morning predose forced expiratory volume in 1 second (0.61 +/- 0.03 L vs 0.32 +/- 0.03 L), morning peak expiratory flow rate (peak expiratory flow rate; 81.4 +/- 5.9 L/minute vs 41.9 +/- 4.8 L/minute), evening peak expiratory flow rate (64.6 +/- 5.3 L/minute vs 38.8 +/- 4.7 L/minute), the percentage of symptom-free days (40.3 +/- 2.9% vs 27.0 +/- 2.7%), the percentage of rescue-free days (53.4 +/- 2.8% vs 26.7 +/- 2.5%), and the percentage of nights with no awakenings (29.8 +/- 2.5% vs 19.6 +/- 2.1%) (P < or = 0.011, all comparisons). At endpoint, FSC significantly reduced asthma symptom scores (-1.0 +/- 0.1 vs -0.7 +/- 0.1) and rescue albuterol use (-3.6 +/- 0.2 puffs/day vs -2.2 +/- 0.2 puffs/day) compared with montelukast (P < 0.001). At endpoint, patients treated with FSC also had a significantly greater improvement in quality of life scores and were more satisfied with their treatment compared with montelukast-treated patients (P < or = 0.001). Both treatments were well tolerated.

CONCLUSIONS: Initial maintenance therapy with FSC provides greater improvement in asthma control and patient satisfaction than montelukast.

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