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      Beclomethasone/formoterol fixed combination for the management of asthma: patient considerations

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          Drugs for asthma and other chronic obstructive diseases of the lungs should be preferably delivered by the inhalation route to match therapeutic effects with low systemic exposure. Inhaled drugs are delivered to the lungs via different devices, mainly metered dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers, each characterized by specific inhaler technique and instructions for use. The patient–device interaction is part of the prescribed therapy and can have a relevant impact on adherence and clinical outcomes. The most suitable device should be considered for each patient to assure the correct drug intake and adherence to the prescribed therapy. The development of new drugs/devices in the past decades improved the compliance with inhaler and possibly drug delivery to the bronchi. The present review focuses on the recently developed beclomethasone/formoterol extrafine fixed combination and technical aspects of drug delivery to the lungs in patient’s perspective.

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          Most cited references 66

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          Can guideline-defined asthma control be achieved? The Gaining Optimal Asthma ControL study.

          For most patients, asthma is not controlled as defined by guidelines; whether this is achievable has not been prospectively studied. A 1-year, randomized, stratified, double-blind, parallel-group study of 3,421 patients with uncontrolled asthma compared fluticasone propionate and salmeterol/fluticasone in achieving two rigorous, composite, guideline-based measures of control: totally and well-controlled asthma. Treatment was stepped-up until total control was achieved (or maximum 500 microg corticosteroid twice a day). Significantly more patients in each stratum (previously corticosteroid-free, low- and moderate-dose corticosteroid users) achieved control with salmeterol/fluticasone than fluticasone. Total control was achieved across all strata: 520 (31%) versus 326 (19%) patients after dose escalation (p < 0.001) and 690 (41%) versus 468 (28%) at 1 year for salmeterol/fluticasone and fluticasone, respectively. Asthma became well controlled in 1,071 (63%) versus 846 (50%) after dose escalation (p < 0.001) and 1,204 (71%) versus 988 (59%) at 1 year. Control was achieved more rapidly and at a lower corticosteroid dose with salmeterol/fluticasone versus fluticasone. Across all strata, 68% and 76% of the patients receiving salmeterol/fluticasone and fluticasone, respectively, were on the highest dose at the end of treatment. Exacerbation rates (0.07-0.27 per patient per year) and improvement in health status were significantly better with salmeterol/fluticasone. This study confirms that the goal of guideline-derived asthma control was achieved in a majority of the patients.
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            Clinical management of asthma in 1999: the Asthma Insights and Reality in Europe (AIRE) study.

            Asthma management guidelines provide recommendations for the optimum control of asthma. This survey assessed the current levels of asthma control as reported by patients, which partly reflect the extent to which guideline recommendations are implemented. Current asthma patients were identified by telephone by screening 73,880 households in seven European countries. Designated respondents were interviewed on healthcare utilization, symptom severity, activity limitations and asthma control. Current asthma patients were identified in 3,488 households, and 2,803 patients (80.4%) completed the survey. Forty-six per cent of patients reported daytime symptoms and 30% reported asthma-related sleep disturbances, at least once a week. In the past 12 months, 25% of patients reported an unscheduled urgent care visit, 10% reported one or more emergency room visits and 7% reported overnight hospitalization due to asthma. In the past 4 weeks, more patients had used prescription quick-relief medication (63%) than inhaled corticosteroids (23%). Patient perception of asthma control did not match their symptom severity; approximately 50% of patients reporting severe persistent symptoms also considered their asthma to be completely or well controlled. The current level of asthma control in Europe falls far short of the goals for long-term asthma management. Patients' perception of asthma control is different from their actual asthma control.
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              Low-dose inhaled corticosteroids and the prevention of death from asthma.

              Although inhaled corticosteroids are effective for the treatment of asthma, it is uncertain whether their use can prevent death from asthma. We used the Saskatchewan Health data bases to form a population-based cohort of all subjects from 5 through 44 years of age who were using antiasthma drugs during the period from 1975 through 1991. We followed subjects until the end of 1997, their 55th birthday, death, emigration, or termination of health insurance coverage; whichever came first. We conducted a nested case-control study in which subjects who died of asthma were matched with controls within the cohort according to the length of follow-up at the time of death of the case patient (the index date), the date of study entry, and the severity of asthma. We calculated rate ratios after adjustment for the subject's age and sex; the number of prescriptions of theophylline, nebulized and oral beta-adrenergic agonists, and oral corticosteroids in the year before the index date; the number of canisters of inhaled beta-adrenergic agonists used in the year before the index date; and the number of hospitalizations for asthma in the two years before the index date. The cohort consisted of 30,569 subjects. Of the 562 deaths, 77 were classified as due to asthma. We matched the 66 subjects who died of asthma for whom there were complete data with 2681 controls. Fifty-three percent of the case patients and 46 percent of the control patients had used inhaled corticosteroids in the previous year, most commonly low-dose beclomethasone. The mean number of canisters was 1.18 for the patients who died and 1.57 for the controls. On the basis of a continuous dose-response analysis, we calculated that the rate of death from asthma decreased by 21 percent with each additional canister of inhaled corticosteroids used in the previous year (adjusted rate ratio, 0.79; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.65 to 0.97). The rate of death from asthma during the first three months after discontinuation of inhaled corticosteroids was higher than the rate among patients who continued to use the drugs. The regular use of low-dose inhaled corticosteroids is associated with a decreased risk of death from asthma.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                October 2008
                October 2008
                : 4
                : 5
                : 855-864
                [1 ]Medical Department, Chiesi Farmaceutici, Parma, Italy;
                [2 ]University of Palermo, DIMPEFINU, Palermo, Italy;
                [3 ]Department of Scientific Affairs, Chiesi Farmaceutici, Parma, Italy;
                [4 ]Research Center on Asthma and COPD, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy;
                [5 ]Section of Respiratory Diseases, University of Modena, Modena, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Leonardo M Fabbri, Department of Respiratory Diseases, University of Modena and ReggioEmilia, Via del Pozzo 71,I-41100 Modena, Italy, Tel +39 0594 222198, Fax +39 0594 224231, Email fabbri.leonardo@ 123456unimore.it
                © 2008 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved


                extrafine, modulite, beclomethasone, formoterol


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