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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Mar;107(3):461-8.

Low-dose fluticasone propionate compared with montelukast for first-line treatment of persistent asthma: a randomized clinical trial.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School, USA.



Both inhaled corticosteroids and leukotriene modifiers are used in the maintenance treatment of persistent asthma.


The goal was to compare the efficacy and safety of low-dose fluticasone propionate (FP) and montelukast as first-line maintenance therapy in symptomatic patients by using short-acting beta2-agonists alone to treat persistent asthma.


In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel-group study, 533 patients (>15 years old) with persistent asthma who remained symptomatic while taking short-acting beta2-agonists alone were treated with FP (88 microg [2 puffs of 44 microg] twice daily) or montelukast (10 mg once daily) for 24 weeks.


Compared with treatment with montelukast, treatment with FP resulted in significantly greater improvements at endpoint in morning predose FEV(1) (22.9% vs 14.5%, P <.001), forced midexpiratory flow (0.66 vs 0.41 L/sec, P <.001), forced vital capacity (0.42 vs 0.29 L, P =.002), morning peak expiratory flow (PEF) (68.5 vs 34.1 L/min, P <.001), and evening PEF (53.9 vs 28.7 L/min, P <.001). Similar improvements in PEF were observed in patients with milder asthma (>70%-80% predicted FEV(1)). At endpoint, FP was more effective than montelukast at decreasing rescue albuterol use (3.1 puffs/day vs 2.3 puffs/day, P <.001), asthma symptom scores (-0.85 [48.6% decrease] vs -0.60 [30.5%], P <.001), and nighttime awakenings due to asthma (-0.64 awakenings/night [62% decrease] vs -0.48 awakenings/night [47.5%], P =.023), and FP increased the percentage of symptom-free days (32.0% vs 18.4% of days, P <.001) compared with montelukast. The adverse event and asthma exacerbation profiles for FP and montelukast were similar.


Low-dose FP is more effective than montelukast as first-line maintenance therapy for patients with persistent asthma who are undertreated and remain symptomatic while taking short-acting beta2-agonists alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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