Effect of fluticasone propionate and salmeterol in a single device, fluticasone propionate, and montelukast on overall asthma control, exacerbations, and costs

Richard D O'Connor, Richard Stanford, Courtney Crim, Steven W Yancey, Lisa Edwards, Kathleen A Rickard, Paul Dorinsky
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2004, 93 (6): 581-8

BACKGROUND: Inhaled corticosteroids are the most effective class of anti-inflammatory agents and are recommended for patients with persistent asthma.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of (1) fluticasone propionate, 100 microg, and salmeterol, 50 microg; (2) fluticasone propionate, 100 microg; and (3) montelukast, 10 mg, as first-line maintenance treatment for persistent asthma.

METHODS: Combined analysis of 4 clinical trials, 2 that compared fluticasone propionate-salmeterol with montelukast and 2 that compared fluticasone propionate with montelukast as initial asthma therapy.

RESULTS: The 4 studies had a total of 1,910 patients 15 years or older with symptomatic asthma previously treated with inhaled short-acting beta2-agonists alone. At the end point, there were significantly greater increases in forced expiratory volume in 1 second with fluticasone propionate-salmeterol (0.57 L; P < or = .004) vs fluticasone propionate (0.48 L) and montelukast (0.31 L) and significantly greater increases in morning peak expiratory flow rate (84.9 L/min; P < .001) vs fluticasone propionate (56.0 L/min) and montelukast (36.1 L/min). Fluticasone propionate-salmeterol significantly increased the percentage of symptom- and rescue-free days and significantly reduced albuterol use vs fluticasone propionate and montelukast (P < or = .04 for both). Patients treated with fluticasone propionate and montelukast had 2.6 and 3.6 greater risk, respectively, of having an asthma-related exacerbation vs fluticasone propionate-salmeterol users. In addition, mean daily exacerbation costs per treated patient were dollars 0.41 for fluticasone propionate-salmeterol, dollars 4.60 for fluticasone propionate, and dollars 7.57 for montelukast, whereas mean daily costs per patient exacerbation for fluticasone propionate-salmeterol, fluticasone propionate, and montelukast were dollars 29, dollars 128, and dollars 154, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with symptomatic asthma previously treated with short-acting beta2-agonists only who require maintenance therapy are likely to have greater clinical benefits, lower risk of an asthma exacerbation, and reduced exacerbation-related costs when initiating therapy with fluticasone propionate-salmeterol vs fluticasone propionate or montelukast.

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