Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) are a first-line treatment for persistent asthma. This study was designed to compare the efficacy and safety of ciclesonide (CIC) in subjects with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma not using an ICS. This was a multicenter, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, 16-week study in subjects who were > or =12 years old, had a > or =6-month history of persistent asthma, a forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1)) of > or =60 to < or =85% predicted, and who were not using an ICS < or =30 days before study entry. Subjects were randomized to CIC, 80 microg twice daily (CIC80 b.i.d.; n = 170); CIC, 160 microg once daily in the morning (CIC160 q.d. in the A.M.; n = 173); CIC80 b.i.d. for 4 weeks followed by CIC160 q.d. for 12 weeks (CIC80 b.i.d./CIC160 q.d.; n = 171); or placebo (n = 177). Change in FEV(1) from baseline to the average of weeks 12 and 16 (primary end point) and to week 16, A.M. peak expiratory flow, rescue albuterol use, nighttime awakenings, asthma symptom scores, and safety were evaluated. FEV(1) improved from baseline to the average of weeks 12 and 16 for CIC80 b.i.d. (+0.30L; p < 0.0001), CIC160q.d. (+0.19L; p < 0.0001), CIC80 b.i.d./CIC160 q.d. (+0.19L; p < 0.0001), and placebo (+0.06L; p = 0.0251); improvement was greatest for CIC80 b.i.d. (p < 0.01). At week 16, all CIC treatments significantly improved FEV(1) and A.M. PEF from baseline (p < 0.0001) and compared with placebo (p < or = 0.015). All treatments reduced albuterol use and nighttime awakenings and improved asthma symptom scores (p < or = 0.05 versus baseline); these improvements were greater for CIC80 b.i.d. than for placebo (p < 0.01). The incidence of adverse events was similar among treatment groups (range, 53-58%). In this study, CIC80 b.i.d. improved disease control in subjects with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma not using an ICS and provided greater improvements than CIC160 q.d.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00174720.