The safety of twice-daily treatment with fluticasone propionate and salmeterol in pediatric patients with persistent asthma

Randolph Malone, Craig LaForce, Sai Nimmagadda, Lynne Schoaf, Karen House, Anna Ellsworth, Paul Dorinsky
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2005, 95 (1): 66-71

BACKGROUND: For children older than 5 years with asthma who remain symptomatic despite inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) therapy, the preferred treatment is to add an inhaled long-acting beta2-agonist vs increasing the ICS dose.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the safety of twice-daily treatment with inhaled fluticasone propionate plus the inhaled long-acting beta2-agonist salmeterol with that of fluticasone propionate used alone in children aged 4 to 11 years with persistent asthma.

METHODS: A randomized, multicenter, double-blind, active-controlled, parallel-group study in 203 children with persistent asthma who were symptomatic during ICS therapy. Patients received fluticasone propionate-salmeterol (100/50 microg) or fluticasone propionate (100 microg) alone twice daily for 12 weeks.

RESULTS: The safety profile of fluticasone propionate-salmeterol was similar to that of fluticasone propionate alone. The overall incidence of adverse events was 59% for fluticasone propionate-salmeterol and 57% for fluticasone propionate. Both treatments were well tolerated. Two patients receiving fluticasone propionate-salmeterol and 5 receiving fluticasone propionate withdrew from the study because of worsening asthma. Changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and laboratory variables were infrequent and were similar between treatments. No patients had clinically significant abnormal electrocardiographic findings during treatment. Geometric mean 24-hour urinary cortisol excretion at baseline and after 12 weeks of treatment was comparable within and between groups; no patient in either group had abnormally low 24-hour urinary cortisol excretion after 12 weeks of treatment. The incidence of withdrawals due to asthma exacerbations was 2% in the fluticasone propionate-salmeterol group and 5% in the fluticasone propionate group.

CONCLUSIONS: In pediatric patients with persistent asthma, fluticasone propionate-salmeterol twice daily was well tolerated, with a safety profile similar to that of fluticasone propionate used alone.

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