Acute asthma intervention: insights from the STAY study

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007 Jun;119(6):1332-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2007.03.007. Epub 2007 Apr 23.


In some patients, asthma control is improved by combining inhaled corticosteroids with long-acting beta(2)-agonists. However, fluctuating asthma control and exacerbations can still occur. The STAY study evaluated whether, in patients with moderate to severe asthma, replacing a short-acting beta(2)-agonist reliever with the combination of budesonide/formoterol as reliever would both provide rapid symptom relief and reduce asthma exacerbations. The study evaluated 2760 patients with asthma (4-80 years) randomized to budesonide 400 microg twice daily (bid) and terbutaline as reliever, budesonide/formoterol 100/6 microg bid and terbutaline as reliever, or budesonide/formoterol 100/6 microg bid both as maintenance and reliever. Children (age 4-11 years) used a once-daily maintenance dose. Budesonide/formoterol as maintenance and reliever significantly reduced severe exacerbation risk by 45% to 47% compared with the other 2 treatments and improved symptoms, awakenings, and lung function. The benefit was seen in patients of all ages. Subsequent studies have revealed that this beneficial effect of budesonide/formoterol as maintenance and reliever requires both components of the combination.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adrenergic beta-2 Receptor Agonists
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Budesonide / administration & dosage
  • Budesonide / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ethanolamines / administration & dosage
  • Ethanolamines / therapeutic use
  • Formoterol Fumarate
  • Humans


  • Adrenergic beta-2 Receptor Agonists
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ethanolamines
  • Budesonide
  • Formoterol Fumarate