Efficacy and safety of fluticasone propionate 44 microg/salmeterol 21 microg administered in a hydrofluoroalkane metered-dose inhaler as an initial asthma maintenance treatment

Harold S Nelson, James D Wolfe, Gary Gross, Leon S Greos, Leslie Baitinger, Catherine Scott, Paul Dorinsky
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2003, 91 (3): 263-9

BACKGROUND: We wanted to evaluate whether treatment with an inhaled corticosteroid and an inhaled long-acting beta2-agonist is more effective than an inhaled corticosteroid alone for patients using as-needed albuterol who are initiating maintenance treatment.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy and safety of twice-daily fluticasone propionate (FP) 88 microg and salmeterol 42 microg combined in a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free (hydrofluoroalkane 134a) metered-dose inhaler (MDI) with the individual agents alone, each delivered through an MDI containing CFC propellants, in patient with persistent asthma previously uncontrolled with as-needed short-acting beta2-agonists alone.

METHODS: Patients with asthma (n = 283) were randomized to twice-daily treatment for 12 weeks with FP 88 microg combined with salmeterol 42 microg (FSC) in a CFC-free MDI or the individual components alone from CFC-containing MDIs.

RESULTS: At endpoint, mean change from baseline in morning predose forced expiratory volume in 1 second was significantly (P < or = 0.016) greater with FSC (0.69 L) compared with FP (0.51 L) or salmeterol (0.47 L). Fewer patients treated with FSC withdrew due to worsening asthma (1%) compared with FP (3%) or salmeterol (8%; P = 0.024). FSC significantly increased (P < or = 0.002) morning and evening peak expiratory flow rate at endpoint (66.5 and 51.5 L/min, respectively) compared with FP (43.0 and 29.9 L/min, respectively) and salmeterol (29.2 and 21.6 L/min, respectively). In addition, asthma symptom scores were reduced, and percentages of days with no asthma symptoms increased in all treatment groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with FSC in a CFC-free MDI is more effective than FP or salmeterol alone in asthma patients who are symptomatic taking short-acting beta2-agonists alone.

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