Poor adherence with inhaled corticosteroids for asthma: can using a single inhaler containing budesonide and formoterol help?

Division of Respiratory Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham City Hospital.
British Journal of General Practice (Impact Factor: 2.36). 01/2008; 58(546):37-43. DOI: 10.3399/bjgp08X263802
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Poor adherence with inhaled corticosteroids is an important problem in asthma management. Previous approaches to improving adherence have had limited success.
To determine whether treatment with a single inhaler containing a long-acting beta(2)-agonist and a corticosteroid for maintenance treatment and symptom relief can overcome the problem of poor adherence with inhaled corticosteroids.
Randomised, parallel group, open-label trial.
Forty-four general practices in Nottinghamshire.
Participants who used less than 70% of their prescribed dose of inhaled corticosteroid and had poorly controlled asthma were randomised to budesonide 200 microg one puff twice daily plus their own short-acting beta(2)-agonist as required (control group), or budesonide/formoterol 200/6 microg one puff once daily and as required (active group) for 6 months. The primary outcome was inhaled corticosteroid dose.
Seventy-one participants (35 control, 36 active group) were randomised. Adherence with budesonide in the control group was approximately 60% of the prescribed dose. Participants in the active group used approximately 80% more budesonide than participants in the control group (448 versus 252 microg/day, mean difference 196 mug, 95% confidence interval 113 to 279; P<0.001) and were less likely to withdraw from the study (3 versus 13; P<0.01). No safety issues were identified.
Using a single inhaler for both maintenance treatment and symptom relief approximately doubled the dose of inhaled corticosteroid taken, suggesting this could be a useful strategy to overcome the problems related to poor adherence with inhaled corticosteroids.

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