Objective: To determine the efficacy and safety of budesonide delivered by an inhalation-driven dry powder inhaler (Turbuhaler) in children with moderate to severe persistent asthma.
Study design: In our randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multicenter study, a total of 404 children with asthma, who were aged 6 to 18 years and who had been receiving inhaled glucocorticosteroid therapy, were randomly assigned to receive either 100, 200, or 400 micrograms of budesonide or placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. At baseline, mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) was 74.6% (range, 30.7% to 123.3%) of the predicted normal value.
Results: Patients in each of the three budesonide treatment groups showed significant dose-related improvements in lung function (morning peak expiratory flow and FEV1), in asthma symptoms, and with a significant decrease in inhaled beta 2-agonist use in comparison with placebo. Improvements were evident within 2 weeks and were maintained throughout the 12 weeks. Budesonide treatment had no significant effect on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function, and the incidence of reported adverse events was similar in all treatment groups.
Conclusion: Budesonide administered via a dry powder inhaler provided dose-related improvements in lung function and clinical status and was well tolerated by children (6 to 18 years of age) with moderate to severe persistent asthma.