A new combination inhaler containing fluticasone, a potent inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), and formoterol, a long-acting β-agonist (LABA) with rapid onset and sustained bronchodilator effect, has been approved for treatment of persistent asthma in patients ≥12 years of age requiring combination ICS-LABA therapy. The fluticasone/formoterol combination, delivered via pressurized metered-dose inhaler and available in three dose strengths, has demonstrated a good safety and tolerability profile in trials of up to 1 year. The efficacy of fluticasone/formoterol is greater than that of fluticasone or formoterol alone and noninferior to that of fluticasone/salmeterol and budesonide/formoterol in tightly controlled 8-12-week clinical trials. Advantages of the fluticasone/formoterol combination aerosol include rapid onset of bronchodilation, an attribute preferred by patients, and emission of a high fine-particle fraction that is consistent at different flow rates, which may aid consistency of delivery (given patient variability in inhalation maneuvers) and provide real-life benefits.
Keywords: anti-inflammatory; asthma; bronchodilator; fluticasone propionate; formoterol fumarate; inhaled corticosteroid; long-acting β-agonist.