New Asthma Combo Reduces Exacerbations
A large-scale study of asthma maintenanceand relief medication showed thattreatment with budesonide/formoterolmaintenance and reliever therapy ismore effective in reducing asthma exacerbationsthan fixed doses of budesonide/formoterol or salmeterol/fluticasone.The 6-month-long, double-blindstudy, which included 3335 patients withasthma, compared the safety and efficacyof budenoside/formoterol when usedfor both maintenance and reliever therapy.Patients were randomized into 3groups: one group received 25/125 mcgsalmeterol/fluticasone, 2 inhalations bid,plus terbutaline as a reliever; the secondgroup received 320/9 mcg budesonide/formoterol, one inhalation bid, plusterbutaline as a reliever; and the thirdgroup received 160/4.5 mcg budesonide/formoterol, one inhalation bid, plusbudesonide/formoterol as a reliever.Patients who took budesonide/formoterolas a maintenance drug and as areliever used at least 25% less inhaledcorticosteroid than those patients on afixed dose of budesonide/formoterol or afixed dose of salmeterol/fluticasone. Thebudesonide/formoterol maintenance andreliever therapy gives patients the antiinflammatoryeffect of the budesonideand the rapid-and long-acting bronchodilatorof formoterol, thus establishingasthma control with additional inhalationsto be taken on an "as-needed" basis. According to the research, thiscombination treats the underlying inflammationwith every inhalation, evenwhen budesonide/formoterol is used forsymptom relief.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.