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J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv. 2010 Dec;23(6):381-8. doi: 10.1089/jamp.2010.0827. Epub 2010 Oct 19.

Inhaled lidocaine for the treatment of asthma: lack of efficacy in two double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical studies.

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Gilead Sciences Inc., Seattle, Washington 98102, USA.



Asthma with severe or persistent exacerbations is treated with chronic oral corticosteroids (OCS), such as prednisone. Although efficacious, OCS treatment is often associated with side effects; thus, corticosteroid-sparing treatments are needed.


We conducted two double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical studies assessing lidocaine solution for inhalation (LSI; 40 mg twice daily; eFlow(®) nebulizer) to treat asthma. Study 1-Mild/Moderate included 154 patients with mild-moderate asthma [forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)) ≥60% predicted, and ≥12% improvement in FEV(1) (L) after short-acting, inhaled β-agonist; no OCS or inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in previous month] and evaluated whether FEV(1) improved after 12 weeks of treatment. Study 2-OCS included 114 patients with more severe asthma (FEV(1) 35-85% of predicted values, treatment with OCS for ≥6 months, average daily dose between 5 and 70 mg prednisone or equivalent, stable ≥30 days) and evaluated whether 20 weeks of treatment had a corticosteroid-sparing effect, measured as reduced need for OCS.


LSI did not improve pulmonary function in Study 1-Mild/Moderate, and did not have a corticosteroid-sparing effect in Study 2-OCS, when compared with placebo. Thus, the primary efficacy endpoints were not met. Significant improvements were not observed for asthma symptom scores, morning and evening peak expiratory flow values, FEV(1) % predicted, proportion of patients with asthma instability, and asthma quality-of-life scores at week 12 (Study 1-Mild/Moderate) or week 20 (Study 2-OCS). LSI was well tolerated.


These results indicate that lidocaine solution for inhalation is not a useful treatment for asthma; it did not improve pulmonary function and did not have a corticosteroid-sparing effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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