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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1999 Dec;104(6):1215-22.

Efficacy response of inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate in asthma is proportional to dose and is improved by formulation with a new propellant.

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Allergy-Immunology Section, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison, USA.



This study tested the hypothesis that there would be improved asthma control with increasing doses of beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) formulated in hydrofluoroalkane-134a (HFA-BDP) and the standard chlorofluorocarbon propellants (CFC-BDP). Because HFA-BDP has improved lung deposition compared with CFC-BDP, this study also tested the hypothesis that HFA-BDP would provide more effective control of asthma than CFC-BDP.


In this multicenter, randomized, parallel-group blinded study, asthmatic subjects who had deterioration in asthma control after discontinuation of inhaled corticosteroids were randomized to receive one of 6 possible treatments: 100 microg/d, 400 microg/d, or 800 microg/d of HFA-BDP or 100 microg/d, 400 microg/d, or 800 microg/d of CFC-BDP for 6 weeks. Changes in spirometry, daytime asthma symptom and nighttime asthma-related sleep disturbance scores, morning and evening peak expiratory flows, and daily use of inhaled beta-agonist for symptom control on diary cards were assessed over 6 weeks of treatment.


Three hundred twenty-three patients were randomized to the 6 treatment groups, which had similar demographics and baseline lung function. There were significantly larger changes from baseline at week 6 in FEV(1) percent predicted with increasing doses of both HFA-BDP and CFC-BDP. The FEV(1) percent predicted dose-response curve for HFA-BDP was shifted to the left compared with the dose-response curve for CFC-BDP. By using the Finney bioassay method, it was calculated that 2.6 times as much CFC-BDP would be required to achieve the same improvement in FEV(1) percent predicted as HFA-BDP (95% confidence interval, 1.1-11.6). All treatment groups except the 100 microg/d CFC-BDP group tolerated study drug well. Ten (17%) of 59 patients in this group reported an acute asthma episode, increased asthma symptoms (6 of the 8 reports of increased asthma symptoms were classified as severe), or both, and 8 patients withdrew from the study (3 for adverse events related to asthma).


Increasing doses of inhaled corticosteroids lead to improved lung function and asthma control. Moreover, the reformulation of BDP in HFA enables effective asthma control at much lower doses than CFC-BDP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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