Background: As a result of the pending ban on chlorofluorocarbon production, the non-chlorofluorocarbon propellant 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane (HFA-134a) is being evaluated as a replacement for CFCs in metered-dose inhalers.
Objectives: This cumulative dose response study compared the safety and bronchodilator efficacy of 16 cumulative inhalations of albuterol sulfate in an HFA-134a, CFC-free propellant system (108 microg of albuterol sulfate, equivalent to 90 microg of albuterol base) with that of equivalent doses of albuterol in a conventional CFC propellant system.
Methods: Twenty-two patients with at least a 12-month history of stable asthma, who were currently taken an inhaled beta-adrenergic bronchodilator, and who had a FEV1 between 40% and 80% of predicted, were enrolled in this randomized, modified-blind, two-period crossover study. One, 1, 2, 4, and 8 inhalations of study drug were self-administered at 30-minute intervals, resulting in 16 cumulative inhalations. Pulmonary function and safety measures were assessed after each dosing interval.
Results: A significant dose response was found for HFA-134a albuterol sulfate and CFC albuterol with regard to changes in FEV1, serum potassium, heart rate, and blood pressure after 16 cumulative inhalations. No significant differences were demonstrated between HFA-134a albuterol sulfate and CFC albuterol for any FEV1 or safety parameter at any cumulative dose level. No clinically meaningful laboratory or physical examination abnormalities were found with administration of either HFA-134a albuterol sulfate or CFC albuterol.
Conclusions: HFA-134a albuterol sulfate provides bronchodilation comparable to CFC albuterol and has a similar safety profile.