Salmeterol/fluticasone propionate: a review of its use in asthma

Kate McKeage, Susan J Keam
Drugs 2009, 69 (13): 1799-828
Salmeterol/fluticasone propionate (Seretide/Advair Diskus [dry powder inhaler] or Seretide/Advair inhalation aerosol [metered-dose inhaler]) is a fixed-dose combination inhalation agent containing a long-acting beta2-adrenoceptor agonist (LABA) plus a corticosteroid. In patients with symptomatic asthma, twice-daily salmeterol/fluticasone propionate maintenance therapy improves lung function and asthma symptoms to a greater extent than monotherapy with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), such as fluticasone propionate, oral montelukast with or without fluticasone propionate, or sustained-release theophylline plus fluticasone propionate. The greater efficacy achieved with salmeterol/fluticasone propionate versus fluticasone propionate alone was sustained for 1 year in a well designed trial. Salmeterol/fluticasone propionate is also associated with a corticosteroid-sparing effect. Results of studies comparing fixed dosages of salmeterol/fluticasone propionate with formoterol/budesonide in adults and adolescents are equivocal. Twice-daily salmeterol/fluticasone propionate is associated with clinically meaningful improvements from baseline in health-related quality of life (HR-QOL), and improvements were greater than those reported with fluticasone propionate alone. Salmeterol/fluticasone propionate is generally well tolerated in adults, adolescents and children aged 4-11 years, and the fixed-combination inhaler ensures the appropriate use of a LABA in combination with an ICS. In cost-utility analyses in patients with uncontrolled asthma, salmeterol/fluticasone propionate compares favourably with fluticasone propionate alone or oral montelukast. Thus, salmeterol/fluticasone propionate provides an effective, well tolerated and cost-effective option for maintenance treatment in patients with asthma.

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