Müller, Veronika, Gálffy, Gabriella, Eszes, Noemi, Losonczy, György, Bizzi, Andrea, Nicolini, Gabriele, Chrystyn, Henry and Tamási, Lilla (2011) Asthma control in patients receiving inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta2-agonist fixed combinations. A real-life study comparing dry powder inhalers and a pressurized metered dose inhaler extrafine formulation. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 11 (1). p. 40. ISSN 1471-2466
Abstract

Background
Although patients have more problems using metered dose inhalers, clinical comparisons suggest they provide similar control to dry powder inhalers. Using real-life situations this study was designed to evaluate asthma control in outpatients with moderate to severe persistent asthma and to compare efficacy of fixed combinations of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long acting beta-agonists (LABA).

Methods
This real-life study had a cross-sectional design. Patients using fixed combinations of ICS and LABA had their asthma control and spirometry assessed during regular visits.

Results
111 patients were analyzed: 53 (47.7%) received maintenance therapy of extrafine beclomethasone-formoterol (BDP/F) pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI), 25 (22.5%) fluticasone-salmeterol (FP/S) dry powder inhaler (DPI), and 33 (29.7%) budesonide-formoterol (BUD/F) DPI. Severity of asthma at time of diagnosis, assessed by the treating physician, was comparable among groups. Asthma control was achieved by 45.9% of patients; 38.7% were partially controlled and 15.3% were uncontrolled. In the extrafine BDF/F group, asthma control total score, daytime symptom score and rescue medication use score were significantly better than those using fixed DPI combinations (5.8 ± 6.2 vs. 8.5 ± 6.8; 1.4 ± 1.8 vs. 2.3 ± 2.1; 1.8 ± 2.2 vs. 2.6 ± 2.2; p = 0.0160; p = 0.012 and p = 0.025, respectively) and the mean daily ICS dose were significantly lower.

Conclusions
pMDI extrafine BDP/F combination demonstrated better asthma control compared to DPIs formulated with larger particles. This could be due to the improved lung deposition of the dose or less reliance on the optimal inhalation technique or both.

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