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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1990 Mar;85(3):618-26.

Long-term, double-blind comparison of controlled-release albuterol versus sustained-release theophylline in adolescents and adults with asthma.

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Asthma, Inc., Seattle, Wash 98105.


This parallel-group study compared the safety and efficacy of controlled-release albuterol versus sustained-release theophylline, both administered every 12 hours. One hundred twenty-four adolescent and adult patients with asthma and with chronic reversible obstructive airway disease were studied. All patients qualified with an FEV1 less than or equal to 80% of predicted (not receiving treatment) and greater than or equal to 15% reversibility in FEV1 or greater than or equal to 25% reversibility in FEF25-75% after inhaled isoproterenol. All patients were known to be able to take theophylline without unacceptable adverse effects. Theophylline was titrated for patients to receive, unblinded, theophylline serum concentrations of 10 to 20 micrograms/ml. With subsequent randomization, 62 patients continued to receive theophylline and 62 patients started taking albuterol in the 12-week, double-blind, double-dummy portion of the study. Pulmonary function was measured during a pretreatment visit (unmedicated) and serial assessment was made starting just before the morning dose and continuing for 12 hours after the dose at the end of 1, 6, and 12 weeks of treatment. Both treatment groups exhibited statistically significant increases in FEV1 from the pretreatment visit to all times of observation at weeks 1, 6, and 12. The increases in FEV1 were not significantly different between albuterol and theophylline administration. There was no evidence of tolerance to the bronchodilatory effect during 12 weeks in either treatment group. Only one patient in the study stopped treatment because of an adverse effect. This patient had tremor during albuterol administration. All other adverse events were tolerated or resolved during treatment.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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