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Eur Respir J. 1997 Oct;10(10):2210-5.

Effect of 1 year daily treatment with 400 microg budesonide (Pulmicort Turbuhaler) in newly diagnosed asthmatics.

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  • 1Dept of Allergology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


The aim of this study was to investigate whether treatment with a low daily dose of 400 microg inhaled budesonide (Pulmicort Turbuhaler) in newly diagnosed asthmatics could influence the course of asthma. Seventy five adult patients, mostly with mild asthma, diagnosed during the previous year and bronchial hyperresponsiveness, participated in a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group multicentre study. They were treated with budesonide 200 microg b.i.d. or placebo, delivered via Turbuhaler for 12 months and followed-up for another 6 months without inhaled steroid treatment. Airway function, symptom scores, reactivity to histamine and inflammatory indices in blood were assessed. The mean increase in morning peak expiratory flow (PEF) was 28 L x min(-1) after budesonide treatment compared with no increase in the placebo group (p=0.011). The provocative dose of histamine causing a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in one second (PD20) (geometric mean) increased in the budesonide group by approximately two doubling dose steps, but not in the placebo group (p=0.0003). The difference between groups with regard to improvement in asthma symptom scores and inflammatory indices did not reach statistical significance. During the 6 month follow-up, the PEF values of the patients who had previously been treated with budesonide decreased by 18 L x min(-1) while the PD20 decreased by approximately one doubling dose step. In conclusion, early treatment with a low dose of budesonide improves airway function and decreases bronchial responsiveness, but the improvements are short-lasting without continued treatment.

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