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Allergy. 2006 Jan;61(1):72-8.

Comparison of roflumilast, an oral anti-inflammatory, with beclomethasone dipropionate in the treatment of persistent asthma.

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HĂ´pital Arnaud de Villeneuve, Montpellier, France.



Roflumilast is an oral, once-daily phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor with anti-inflammatory activity in development for the treatment of asthma. Roflumilast was compared with inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) in patients with asthma.


In a double blind, double-dummy, randomized, noninferiority study, 499 patients (forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV1] = 50-85% predicted) received roflumilast 500 microg once daily or BDP 200 microg twice daily (400 microg/day) for 12 weeks. Lung function and adverse events were monitored.


Roflumilast and BDP significantly improved FEV1 by 12% (270 +/- 30 ml) and 14% (320 +/- 30 ml), respectively (P < 0.0001 vs baseline). Roflumilast and BDP also significantly improved forced vital capacity (FVC) (P < 0.0001 vs baseline). There were no significant differences between roflumilast and BDP with regard to improvement in FEV1 and FVC. Roflumilast and BDP showed small improvements in median asthma symptom scores (-0.82 and -1.00, respectively) and reduced rescue medication use (-1.00 and -1.15 median puffs/day, respectively; P < 0.0001 vs baseline). These small differences between roflumilast and BDP were not considered clinically relevant. Both agents were well tolerated.


Once daily, oral roflumilast 500 microg was comparable with inhaled twice-daily BDP (400 microg/day) in improving pulmonary function and asthma symptoms, and reducing rescue medication use in patients with asthma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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