Background and objective: Inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/long-acting beta(2)-agonist (LABA) combinations are the preferred maintenance therapy for adult asthma patients uncontrolled by ICS alone. Supporting data are largely from mixed populations of adolescents and adults, although ICS/LABA combinations are not approved for adolescents in all countries. This analysis evaluates overall asthma control in asthma patients aged >or=16 years receiving ICS/LABA combinations.
Methods: This was a post hoc analysis of asthma patients aged >or=16 years in a randomized, double-blind/open-label extension, parallel-group study. Patients received fixed maintenance-dose budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort Turbuhaler), fixed maintenance-dose salmeterol/fluticasone propionate (Seretide/Advair/Adoair Diskus) or adjustable maintenance-dose budesonide/formoterol. Patients used terbutaline or salbutamol for as-needed reliever medication. The primary efficacy variable was the odds of having a well controlled asthma week during the randomized treatment period.
Results: ICS/LABA regimens were well tolerated and efficacious, and the odds for achieving a well controlled asthma week did not differ between groups in this sub-analysis. The number of exacerbations was similar between fixed-dose regimens; however, there were trends toward fewer exacerbations requiring hospitalization/emergency room treatment in the fixed- and adjustable maintenance-dose budesonide/formoterol groups (three and two events, respectively) than in the fixed-dose salmeterol/fluticasone propionate group (eight events). Improvements in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1)) were small but significantly greater with fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol versus fixed-dose salmeterol/fluticasone propionate.
Conclusions: This post hoc analysis supports the use of ICS/LABA combinations in adults aged >or=16 years.