Once- vs twice-daily budesonide/formoterol in 6- to 15-year-old patients with stable asthma

Nemr S Eid, Michael J Noonan, Bradley Chipps, Bhash Parasuraman, Christopher J Miller, Christopher D O'Brien
Pediatrics 2010, 126 (3): e565-75

OBJECTIVE: To assess efficacy/tolerability of once-daily budesonide/formoterol pressurized metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) versus budesonide pMDI (primary) and twice-daily budesonide/formoterol (secondary) in children/adolescents with asthma stabilized with twice-daily budesonide/formoterol.

METHODS: This 12-week multicenter, double-blind randomized controlled study ( identifier NCT00646321) included 521 patients aged 6 to 15 years with mild/moderate persistent asthma. Patients stabilized during a 4- to 5-week run-in with twice-daily budesonide/formoterol pMDI 40/4.5 microgx2 inhalations (160/18 microg daily) received twice-daily budesonide/formoterol pMDI 40/4.5 microgx2 inhalations (160/18 microg daily), once-daily budesonide/formoterol pMDI 80/4.5 microgx2 inhalations (160/9 microg daily; evening), or once-daily budesonide pMDI 80 microgx2 inhalations (160 microg daily; evening).

RESULTS: Once- or twice-daily budesonide/formoterol was more effective than budesonide for evening peak expiratory flow (primary variable) at the end of the 24-hour once-daily dosing interval (P<or=.027). Twice-daily budesonide/formoterol demonstrated better efficacy versus once-daily treatments for evening predose forced expiratory volume in 1 second (P<or=.011), versus budesonide for daytime/nighttime rescue medication (P<or=.023), and versus once-daily budesonide/formoterol for daytime rescue medication (last 12 hours of once-daily dosing) (P=.032). There were no significant between-group differences for daytime/nighttime asthma symptoms, nighttime awakenings attributed to asthma, or health-related quality of life. Fewer patients experienced asthma worsening (predefined criteria) with twice-daily budesonide/formoterol (8.2%) versus once-daily budesonide (15.5%) (P=.036) or once-daily budesonide/formoterol (19.6%) (P=.002). All treatments were well tolerated.

CONCLUSIONS: Once-daily budesonide/formoterol demonstrated significantly better efficacy than once-daily budesonide for most pulmonary-function variables. Twice-daily budesonide/formoterol (160/18 microg daily) maintenance therapy was generally more effective than stepping down to once-daily dosing (160/9 microg daily). Treatments were well tolerated, and there was no evident safety benefit for once- versus twice-daily dosing.

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