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Curr Med Res Opin. 2002;18(8):445-55.

Formoterol delivered via a dry powder inhaler (Aerolizer): results from long-term clinical trials in children.

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University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA.


Over 500 children with asthma, aged 5-12 years, have been treated with formoterol fumarate (Foradil) delivered via the Aerolizer dry powder inhaler in clinical trials, with treatment periods of up to 15 months. In pivotal double-blind trials, two dose levels, 12 and 24 microg taken twice daily, provided significant benefit in terms of lung function measurements and symptom control (a lower dose of 6 microg twice daily appeared insufficient with this formulation). The higher, 24 microg dose appeared to provide an additional margin of benefit in a subgroup of children with more unstable/severe disease when the results from long-term follow-up (12-15 months) were analysed. Formoterol was shown to have a good safety profile when taken as regular maintenance treatment and when used as rescue medication by patients already receiving formoterol as regular maintenance treatment. In this flexible regimen, with formoterol used for rescue and maintenance, the overall daily intake of formoterol was low, with 96.1% of all treatment days (n = 2452) covered by a total daily dose (regular + rescue) of 48 microg (four doses) or less. There was no increase in the average daily intake of rescue formoterol over time. The clinical efficacy associated with this regimen was maintained over time and, in the case of morning peak expiratory flow rate, steadily improved over time. The Foradil Aerolizer inhalation system is simple to use and has a low resistance to inspiratory airflow that maximises the patient's control over dosing, while minimising the risk of under- and overdosing. These features may be especially valuable in a young patient population.

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