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J Fam Pract. 2001 Jul;50(7):595-602.

Fluticasone propionate compared with zafirlukast in controlling persistent asthma: a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, H6/367 Clinical Science Center, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792-2454, USA.



The objective of our study was to compare the efficacy and safety of fluticasone propionate (an inhaled corticosteroid) with zafirlukast (a leukotriene modifier) for persistent asthma.


In this randomized placebo-controlled, parallel-group, double-blind, double-dummy trial, patients underwent an 8- to 14-day run-in period followed by 12 weeks of treatment with inhaled fluticasone propionate (88 mg twice daily by metered-dose inhaler), oral zafirlukast (20 mg twice daily), or placebo.


We included a total of 338 persistent asthma patients, 12 years of age or older, using short-acting b2-agonists alone.


measured Efficacy outcomes included changes in pulmonary function, asthma symptoms, rescue albuterol use, nighttime awakenings due to asthma, and quality of life. Safety outcomes included asthma exacerbations, adverse events, and clinically significant laboratory test results.


After 12 weeks of treatment, patients taking fluticasone propionate experienced significantly greater improvements in all clinical parameters (symptom scores, percentages of symptom-free and albuterol-free days, albuterol use, and nighttime awakenings) compared with patients taking zafirlukast (P <.05) or placebo (P <.05). Treatment with fluticasone propionate resulted in significantly greater improvements in pulmonary function compared with zafirlukast (P <.05) or placebo (P <.05). Fewer fluticasone propionate patients (4%) had an exacerbation requiring oral corticosteroids compared with those taking zafirlukast (12%) or placebo (10%).


Inhaled fluticasone propionate is more effective than zafirlukast in controlling asthma symptoms, improving pulmonary function, and improving quality of life for patients who are symptomatic with the use of short-acting b2-agonists alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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