A large-scale study of asthma maintenance and relief medication showed that treatment with budesonide/formoterol maintenance and reliever therapy is more effective in reducing asthma exacerbations than fixed doses of budesonide/formoterol or salmeterol/fluticasone. The 6-month-long, double-blind study, which included 3335 patients with asthma, compared the safety and efficacy of budenoside/formoterol when used for both maintenance and reliever therapy. Patients were randomized into 3 groups: one group received 25/125 mcg salmeterol/fluticasone, 2 inhalations bid, plus terbutaline as a reliever; the second group received 320/9 mcg budesonide/formoterol, one inhalation bid, plus terbutaline as a reliever; and the third group received 160/4.5 mcg budesonide/formoterol, one inhalation bid, plus budesonide/formoterol as a reliever. Patients who took budesonide/formoterol as a maintenance drug and as a reliever used at least 25% less inhaled corticosteroid than those patients on a fixed dose of budesonide/formoterol or a fixed dose of salmeterol/fluticasone. The budesonide/formoterol maintenance and reliever therapy gives patients the antiinflammatory effect of the budesonide and the rapid-and long-acting bronchodilator of formoterol, thus establishing asthma control with additional inhalations to be taken on an "as-needed" basis. According to the research, this combination treats the underlying inflammation with every inhalation, even when budesonide/formoterol is used for symptom relief.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.
In Seniors: Consider CMV Serostatus
When Recommending Flu Vaccine
Older people who have cytomegalovirus seem to have less robust responses to the trivalent influenza vaccine than those who do not have CMV.
News from the year's biggest meetings
Clinical features with downloadable PDFs