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Clin Drug Investig. 1998;16(3):193-201.

Salmeterol/Fluticasone combination inhaler: a new, effective and well tolerated treatment for asthma.

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University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.



The efficacy and tolerability of a new combination inhaler containing both salmeterol 50mg and fluticasone 100mg in a single device was compared with the delivery of the two drugs via two separate inhalers in a multicentre, double-blind, double-dummy study.


244 symptomatic asthma patients (age range 12 to 78 years) were randomised to a 12-week treatment period with either salmeterol/fluticasone (50/100mg twice daily) via a single inhaler (combination) and placebo twice daily via another, or salmeterol 50mg twice daily via one inhaler and fluticasone 100mg twice daily via another (concurrent).


Morning peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), symptoms and tolerability were collected throughout the treatment period. Adjusted mean improvements in morning PEFR were 42 and 33 L/min for combination and concurrent therapies, respectively, over the 12-week treatment period. Adjusted mean improvements in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1)) from baseline at week 12 were 0.20 and 0.17L for combination and concurrent therapies, respectively. 60% of patients receiving combination inhaler and 64% of those receiving concurrent therapy had a mean daytime symptom score of zero over the treatment period compared with 17 and 15%, respectively, at baseline. Both treatments were well tolerated. Geometric mean morning serum cortisol levels were similar and no differences in the frequency of abnormal results were noted between the two groups.


This was the first study reporting the control of asthma by administration of salmeterol and fluticasone in combination via a single inhaler. The new combination inhaler was as effective and well tolerated as the two drugs administered individually and has potential advantages in terms of convenience.

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