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Do inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting beta2-agonist fixed combinations provide superior clinical benefits compared with separate inhalers? A literature reappraisal

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Current asthma management guidelines emphasize the importance of disease control. Although effective drug therapies are available, real-life data indicate that the general level of asthma control is still low. Fixed-dose combinations of inhaled corticosteroids/long-acting beta2-agonists (ICS/LABAs) are now increasingly used in the management of asthma. A number of studies have compared the clinical benefits of ICS/LABA fixed combinations with the monocomponents administered using two separate inhalers. We conducted a database search to identify all published studies that have assessed whether fixed-dose combinations achieve greater asthma control compared with administration by separate inhalers. Among fixed combinations, only extrafine beclomethasone/formoterol provided significantly greater asthma control compared with separate inhalers administered as larger aerosol particles. This greater effect may be explained by increased delivery to the small airways by the extrafine formulation.
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Keywords: Asthma control; LABA; extrafine formulation; fixed combination; inhaled corticosteroid; separate inhalers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2012

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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