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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1992 Jun;89(6):1176-82.

Protective effect and duration of action of inhaled formoterol and salbutamol on exercise-induced asthma in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, Kolding Sygehus, Kolding, Denmark.


The magnitude and duration of protection against exercise-induced asthma (EIA) afforded by salbutamol and the new, long-acting beta 2-agonist, formoterol, were compared in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Twelve children with asthma and EIA (greater than 25% fall from baseline at a pretrial exercise test) were studied on 3 different days receiving, in random order, either formoterol, 12 micrograms, salbutamol, 200 micrograms, or placebo by inhalation. The effect on EIA was evaluated by standardized treadmill-exercise tests repeated at the following times after medication: 1/2 hour (test 1), 3 hours (test 2), and, if the trial drug still demonstrated an effect, 5 1/2 hours (test 3) and 8 hours (test 4). The mean (SD) maximum percent fall in FEV1 at the pretrial test was 45% (14%). Placebo treatment had no effect on EIA. The mean (SD) maximum percent fall in FEV1 was 44% (14%) (test 1) and 39% (13%) (test 2) (not significant). Salbutamol offered good protection against EIA after 1/2 hour (percent fall in FEV1, 18% [18%]; p less than 0.02) but was not significantly different from that of placebo after 3 hours, 39% (13%) fall in FEV1. Formoterol blocked EIA in all the children and demonstrated a significant effect in most children for at least 8 hours. The percent fall in FEV1 after the various tests were 8% (16%) (test 1), 10% (9%) (test 2), 18% (15%) (test 3), and 18% (7%) (test 4; N = 9) (all tests, p less than 0.001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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