Effects of early intervention with inhaled budesonide on lung function in newly diagnosed asthma

Chest. 2006 Jun;129(6):1478-85. doi: 10.1378/chest.129.6.1478.


Study objectives: Asthmatic patients lose lung function faster than normal subjects. The effectiveness of early intervention with inhaled corticosteroids on this decline in lung function is not established in recent-onset disease.

Design: The Inhaled Steroid Treatment as Regular Therapy in Early Asthma study was a randomized, double-blind study in 7,165 patients (5 to 66 years old), with persistent asthma for < 2 years to determine whether early intervention with low-dose inhaled budesonide prevents severe asthma-related events and the decline in lung function. Patients received budesonide (200 mug qd for children < 11 years old and 400 mug qd for others) or placebo for 3 years in addition to usual asthma medications.

Results: Treatment with budesonide significantly improved prebronchodilator and postbronchodilator FEV(1) percentage of predicted and reduced the mean declines from baseline for postbronchodilator FEV(1) at 1 year and 3 years: - 0.62% and - 1.79% for budesonide and - 2.11% and - 2.68% for placebo, respectively (p < 0.001). The decline was more marked for male patients, active smokers, and patients > 18 years old, and the smallest treatment effects were in adolescents.

Conclusions: Long-term, once-daily treatment with low-dose budesonide improved both prebronchodilator and postbronchodilator FEV(1) in patients with recent-onset, persistent asthma, and reduced the loss of lung function over time.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Budesonide / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vital Capacity


  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Budesonide