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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Jun;121(6):1407-14, 1414.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.03.019. Epub 2008 May 2.

Comparison of adjustable- and fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol pressurized metered-dose inhaler and fixed-dose fluticasone propionate/salmeterol dry powder inhaler in asthma patients.

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University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison, Wis 53792, USA.



The adjustable-dose budesonide/formoterol dry powder inhaler (DPI) has demonstrated similar or greater asthma control with less inhaled corticosteroid compared with the fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol DPI.


We sought to evaluate the efficacy, tolerability, and resource use of maintenance therapy with the adjustable-dose budesonide/formoterol pressurized metered-dose inhaler versus the fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol pressurized metered-dose inhaler and the fixed-dose fluticasone propionate/salmeterol DPI.


This was a randomized, open-label, multicenter study of patients (N = 1225) 12 years and older with moderate-to-severe persistent asthma. After 10 to 14 days of current therapy, patients were randomized 2:1 to fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol (160/4.5 microg x 2 inhalations [320/9 microg] twice daily) or fixed-dose fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (250/50 microg x 1 inhalation twice daily) for 1 month (treatment period 1), after which, the fixed-dose fluticasone propionate/salmeterol group continued therapy and the fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol group was randomized 1:1 to fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol or adjustable-dose budesonide/formoterol (adjustable from 2 inhalations [320/9 microg] twice daily to 2 inhalations [320/9 microg] once daily or 4 inhalations [640/18 microg] twice daily) for 6 months (treatment period 2).


There were no significant between-group differences in asthma exacerbations (primary variable), asthma symptoms, or lung function during the 7-month treatment period. Less study drug (inhalations per day, P < .001) was used with adjustable-dose versus fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol. All treatments were well tolerated.


Adjustable-dose and fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol showed no differences in asthma control or tolerability versus fixed-dose fluticasone propionate/salmeterol.

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