Ciclesonide versus other inhaled steroids for chronic asthma in children and adults

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Apr 16;2008(2):CD007031. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007031.


Background: Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are an integral part of asthma management, and act as an anti-inflammatory agent in the airways of the lung. These agents confer both significant benefit in terms of symptom management and improvement in lung function, but may also cause harm in terms of local and systemic side-effects. Ciclesonide is a novel steroid that is metabolised to its active component in the lung, making it a potentially useful for reducing local side effects.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy and adverse effects of ciclesonide relative to those of other inhaled corticosteroids in the management of chronic asthma.

Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Airways Group register of trials with pre-defined terms. Additional searches of PubMed and were undertaken. The literature searches for this review are current up to June 2007.

Selection criteria: Randomised parallel or crossover studies were eligible for the review. We included studies comparing ciclesonide with other steroids both at nominally equivalent dose or lower doses of ciclesonide.

Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. Study authors were contacted for additional information. Adverse effects information was collected from the trials.

Main results: Twenty one trials involving 7243 participants were included. Equal daily doses of ciclesonide and beclomethasone (BDP) or budesonide (BUD) gave similar results for peak expiratory flow rates (PEF), although forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher with ciclesonide. Data on forced expired volume in one second (FEV1) were inconsistent. Withdrawal data and symptoms were similar between treatments. Compared with the same dose of fluticasone (FP), data on lung function parameters (FEV1, FVC and PEF) did not differ significantly. Paediatric quality of life score favoured ciclesonide. Candidiasis was less frequent with ciclesonide, although other side-effect outcomes did not give significant differences in favour of either treatment. When lower doses of ciclesonide were compared to BDP or BUD, the difference in FEV1 did not reach significance but we cannot exclude a significant effect in favour of BDP/BUD. Other lung function outcomes did not give significant differences between treatments. Paediatric quality of life scores did not differ between treatments. Adverse events occurred with similar frequency between ciclesonide and BDP/BUD. Comparison with FP at half the nominal dose was undertaken in three studies, which indicated that FEV1 was not significantly different, but was not equivalent between the treatments (per protocol: -0.05 L 95% confidence intervals -0.11 to 0.01).

Authors' conclusions: The results of this review give some support to ciclesonide as an equivalent therapy to other ICS at similar nominal doses. The studies assessed low doses of steroids, in patients whose asthma required treatment with low doses of steroids. At half the dose of FP and BDP/BUD, the effects of ciclesonide were more inconsistent The effect on candidiasis may be of importance to people who find this to be problematic. The role of ciclesonide in the management of asthma requires further study, especially in paediatric patients. Further assessment against FP at a dose ratio of 1:2 is a priority.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adult
  • Androstadienes / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Beclomethasone / therapeutic use
  • Budesonide / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Fluticasone
  • Humans
  • Pregnenediones / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Androstadienes
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Pregnenediones
  • Budesonide
  • Fluticasone
  • Beclomethasone
  • ciclesonide