This study examined the ability of fluticasone propionate aerosol to reduce oral prednisone requirements in patients with severe asthma. Ninety-six patients dependent on oral prednisone were treated for 16 wk with placebo or fluticasone propionate aerosol (750 or 1,000 micrograms twice daily). Their dosage of oral prednisone was adjusted weekly according to predetermined criteria. A total of 69% and 88% of patients treated with fluticasone propionate 750 and 1,000 micrograms twice daily, respectively, compared with 3% of placebo-treated patients used no prednisone by the end of the study. In the fluticasone propionate groups, FEV1 and peak expiratory flow rates at the last evaluable visit/date improved and the number of night awakenings and symptomatic albuterol use declined relative to placebo values (p < 0.05). Patient-rated asthma symptoms improved in the groups receiving fluticasone propionate but not in the placebo group (p < 0.005). Fluticasone propionate aerosol was well-tolerated, and it improved some dimensions of health-related quality of life measured using a standard patient survey. Fluticasone propionate aerosol (750 or 1,000 micrograms twice daily) effectively and safely allowed most asthmatics dependent on oral corticosteroids to reduce or eliminate oral prednisone use while improving pulmonary function and quality of life.