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Respir Med. 2013 Jul;107(7):987-1000. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2013.03.009. Epub 2013 May 3.

Real-life comparison of beclometasone dipropionate as an extrafine- or larger-particle formulation for asthma.

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Academic Primary Care, Division of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Polwarth Building, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK.



Beclometasone dipropionate is an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) available in both extrafine and larger-particle hydrofluoroalkane formulations. Extrafine beclometasone has greater small airway distribution and inhalation technique tolerance than larger-particle beclometasone; therefore, its use may be associated with improved asthma outcomes at population levels. The study objective was to compare real-life effectiveness of extrafine and larger-particle beclometasone.


Retrospective matched cohort study including primary care patients with asthma (ages 12-60 and non-smokers 61-80 years) prescribed extrafine or larger-particle beclometasone by metered-dose inhaler. We studied patients receiving their first ICS (initiation population, n = 11,289) or switched from another ICS without dose change (switch population, n = 19,065). The extrafine and larger-particle beclometasone cohorts were matched in each population for demographic and database measures of asthma control during a baseline year; and endpoints assessed during 1 outcome year were adjusted for residual confounding factors.


The odds of no loss of asthma control (no asthma-related hospital attendance, consultation for lower respiratory tract infection, or oral corticosteroids) were significantly higher in the extrafine beclometasone cohorts of both initiation population (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.12; 95% CI 1.02-1.23) and switch population (aOR 1.10; 95% CI 1.01-1.19). The odds of better adherence to ICS therapy were also significantly higher in both extrafine beclometasone cohorts (initiation population, aOR 1.64; 95% CI 1.52-1.75 and switch population, aOR 1.35; 95% CI 1.27-1.43).


These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that delivery of beclometasone in extrafine particle size produces real-life asthma treatment benefits. Clinical trials no. NCT01400217.

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