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Eur Respir J. 2009 Jun;33(6):1277-86. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00079908. Epub 2009 Jan 22.

Effects of ciclesonide and fluticasone on cortisol secretion in patients with persistent asthma.

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  • 1Dept of Respiratory Medicine, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Erratum in

  • Eur Respir J. 2009 Sep;34(3):783. Dosage error in article text.


We compared the systemic and clinical effects of ciclesonide (CIC) and fluticasone propionate (FP) administered, in addition to CIC 160 microg x day(-1) and salmeterol 50 microg twice daily, in 32 patients with persistent asthma using a randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled, double-dummy, five-period crossover design. All patients exhibited a provocative concentration leading to a 20% decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (PC(20)) methacholine <8 mg x mL(-1) and a PC(20) adenosine <60 mg x mL(-1). Primary outcome was 24-h serum cortisol suppression after 7 days. Secondary outcomes were changes in PC(20) methacholine and adenosine after 9 days. FP 500 microg x day(-1) and 1,000 microg x day(-1) significantly suppressed cortisol secretion versus placebo by -46.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) -83.8- -8.5) nmol x L(-1) and by -76.1 (95% CI -112.9- -39.3) nmol x L(-1), respectively. Neither dose of CIC (320 nor 640 microg x day(-1)) had a significant suppressive effect (-28.2 (95% CI -65.5-9.2) nmol x L(-1) and -37.3 (95% CI -74.7-0.0) nmol x L(-1), respectively). Differences between FP 1,000 microg x day(-1) and both CIC treatments were statistically significant (CIC 320 microg x day(-1): -48.0 (95% CI -84.8- -11.1) nmol x L(-1); CIC 640 microg x day(-1): -38.8 (95% CI -75.7- -1.9) nmol x L(-1)). Compared with placebo, the increase in PC(20) adenosine after the four treatments was small, but significant. Greater improvements in PC(20) adenosine were seen with FP 500 microg x day(-1) (1.8 (95% CI 1.0-2.6) doubling concentrations) compared with CIC 320 microg x day(-1) (0.9 (95% CI 0.1-1.7) doubling concentrations). No significant difference was seen between CIC 640 microg x day(-1) and FP 1,000 microg x day(-1). For a similar decrease in hyperresponsiveness, cortisol secretion was suppressed significantly with moderate-to-high doses of fluticasone propionate, but not with ciclesonide.

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