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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2019 Apr;85(4):729-736. doi: 10.1111/bcp.13847. Epub 2019 Feb 3.

Comparison of the effect of beclometasone/formoterol in asthma patients after methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction: A noninferiority study using metered dose vs. dry powder inhaler.

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Medicines Evaluation Unit, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
Hammersmith Medicines Research ltd, London, UK.
Respiratory Clinical Trials ltd, London, UK.
Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Parma, Italy.
Scottish Centre for Respiratory Research, Dundee, UK.
Chiesi Farmaceutici SpA, Parma, Italy.



To demonstrate the noninferiority of extrafine beclomethasone/formoterol fumarate (BDP/FF) dry powder inhaler (DPI) vs. extrafine BDP/FF pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI; Foster® 100/6 μg NEXThaler and pMDI, respectively) in the onset of reliever effect after methacholine induced bronchospasm in asthmatic patients, evaluated in terms of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1 ) at 5 min postdose. The DPI provides an alternative device option for patients who cannot use a pMDI properly during an acute asthma attack.


Sixty-five patients received one inhalation of BDP/FF DPI, BDP/FF pMDI or placebo after methacholine challenge, according to a double-blind, double-dummy, cross-over design. Lung function and Borg dyspnoea score were assessed up to 30 min postdose.


FEV1 adjusted mean difference between BDP/FF DPI and BDP/FF pMDI at 5 min postdose was 2 ml (95% confidence interval: -0.060; 0.065). A similar result was observed at the other time points. Median time to 85% recovery in FEV1 was 8 min for BDP/FF DPI, 7.5 min for BDP/FF pMDI and 28 min for placebo (P = 0.554 DPI vs. pMDI). The Borg score improved after treatment with both BDP/FF DPI and pMDI and the effect was greater than after placebo. Median time to reach 50% recovery was 4.2 min for BDP/FF DPI, 4.0 min for BDP/FF pMDI and 10.0 min for placebo (P = 0.609 DPI vs. pMDI).


Extrafine Foster® NEXThaler, a flow-independent DPI, is comparable to extrafine Foster® pMDI when administered as reliever therapy after methacholine challenge, thus supporting the maintenance and reliever therapy approach also with Foster® NEXThaler.


Clinical Trials; asthma; inhalation

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