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Exacerbations of asthma reduced with combo.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Patients with moderate to severe asthma experience fewer exacerbations and use adjunctive and rescue medications for shorter periods when taking combined budesonide and formoterol, compared with those taking budesonide alone, according to a poster presentation at the International Conference of the American Thoracic Society.

These results contradict three previous meta-analyses that failed to find pronounced reductions in asthma exacerbations in patients taking both long-acting [beta]-2 agonists and inhaled steroids, compared with those taking inhaled steroids alone, wrote Dr. Christopher D. O'Brien of AstraZeneca and his coauthors. AstraZeneca, which manufactures combination budesonide and formoterol under the brand name Symbicort, supported the study.

Included in the multicenter randomized study were 708 adolescent and adult patients (mean age 40 years) with asthma who used inhaled corticosteroids daily for at least 4 weeks before screening.

After a 2-week run-in period on budesonide alone (320 mcg twice daily), patients were randomized to receive a higher dose of budesonide alone (640 mcg twice daily), a high dose of budesonide and formoterol (640 mcg/18 mcg twice daily), or a low-dose of budesonide and formoterol (320 mcg/9 mcg twice daily).

Patients on both combo regimens had significantly fewer asthma exacerbations over 52 weeks. Those on the higher combo dose had a 45% reduction in exacerbations, and those on the lower dose had a 41% reduction, vs. those on budesonide alone.
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Title Annotation:Pulmonary Medicine
Author:Finn, Robert
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2007
Words:227
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