Respiratory medicine

Fluticasone/formoterol: a new single-aerosol combination therapy for patients with asthma.

PMID 23273163


International asthma management guidelines recommend a long-acting β(2)-agonist (LABA) as add-on therapy in patients whose asthma is not controlled by low-dose inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) monotherapy. Treatment with a single inhaler containing an ICS/LABA combination is advocated because it may facilitate adherence to a regimen. When prescribing ICS/LABA combination therapy, the potency of the ICS and the speed of onset of the LABA are considered important factors; therefore, an inhaled therapy containing components with these properties may be valued by physicians. The ICS fluticasone propionate (fluticasone) has potent and sustained anti-inflammatory effects, and the LABA formoterol fumarate (formoterol) provides rapid bronchodilation; the efficacy and safety profiles of these agents have been well established in clinical practice. Fluticasone and formoterol have been combined, for the first time, in a single hydrofluoroalkane-based aerosol (flutiform®; fluticasone propionate/formoterol fumarate). Here, we review data from the published randomized, controlled, clinical trials that demonstrate the efficacy and tolerability of this product. It has been shown that fluticasone/formoterol is more efficacious than fluticasone or formoterol given alone, and provides similar improvements in lung function to fluticasone and formoterol administered concurrently via separate inhalers. Fluticasone/formoterol has similar efficacy and tolerability profiles to budesonide/formoterol and fluticasone/salmeterol, but with the additional benefit of more rapid bronchodilation than fluticasone/salmeterol.