Airway absorption and bioavailability of inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) may be influenced by differences in pharmacokinetic properties such as lipophilicity and patient characteristics such as lung function. This study aimed to further investigate and clarify the distribution of budesonide and fluticasone in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by measuring the systemic availability and sputum concentration of budesonide and fluticasone, administered via combination inhalers with the respective long-acting β2-agonists, formoterol and salmeterol.
This was a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, two-way crossover, multicenter study. Following a run-in period, 28 patients with severe COPD (mean age 65 years, mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1] 37.5% predicted normal) and 27 healthy subjects (mean age 31 years, FEV1 103.3% predicted normal) received two single-dose treatments of budesonide/formoterol (400/12 μg) and salmeterol/fluticasone (50/500 μg), separated by a 4–14-day washout period. ICS concentrations were measured over 10 hours post-inhalation in plasma in all subjects, and over 6 hours in spontaneously expectorated sputum in COPD patients. The primary end point was the area under the curve (AUC) of budesonide and fluticasone plasma concentrations in COPD patients relative to healthy subjects.
Mean plasma AUC values were lower in COPD patients versus healthy subjects for budesonide (3.07 μM·hr versus 6.21 μM·hr) and fluticasone (0.84 μM·hr versus 1.50 μM·hr), and the dose-adjusted AUC (geometric mean) ratios in healthy subjects and patients with severe COPD for plasma budesonide and fluticasone were similar (2.02 versus 1.80; primary end point). In COPD patients, the Tmax and the mean residence time in the systemic circulation were shorter for budesonide versus fluticasone (15.5 min versus 50.8 min and 4.41 hrs versus 12.78 hrs, respectively) and Cmax was higher (1.08 μM versus 0.09 μM). The amount of expectorated fluticasone (percentage of estimated lung-deposited dose) in sputum over 6 hours was significantly higher versus budesonide (ratio 5.21; p = 0.006). Both treatments were well tolerated.
The relative systemic availabilities of budesonide and fluticasone between patients with severe COPD and healthy subjects were similar. In patients with COPD, a larger fraction of fluticasone was expectorated in the sputum as compared with budesonide.
Trial registration number NCT00379028
BACKGROUND: In a previous single dosing comparison between fluticasone propionate and budesonide differences in cortisol levels measured at 08.00 hours were observed at doses in excess of 1000 micrograms. The aim of this study was to compare the adrenal suppression caused by chronic twice daily dosing with inhaled fluticasone propionate (FP) and budesonide (B) given on a microgram equivalent basis by metered dose inhaler to asthmatic patients. METHODS: Twelve stable asthmatic patients of mean age 29.7 years with forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 89.0% predicted and mid forced expiratory flow (FEF25-75) 58.9% predicted, on 400 micrograms/day or less of inhaled corticosteroid, were studied in a double blind, placebo controlled, crossover design comparing inhaled budesonide and fluticasone propionate in doses of 250 micrograms, 500 micrograms, and 1000 micrograms twice daily. Each dose was given at 08.00 hours and 22.00 hours for four days by metered dose inhaler with mouth rinsing. Measurements were made of overnight urinary cortisol excretion and plasma cortisol levels at 08.00 hours, 10 hours after the eighth dose. RESULTS: The plasma cortisol levels (nmol/ l) at 08.00 hours showed that fluticasone propionate produced lower cortisol levels than budesonide at all three dose levels: F500 333.8, B500 415.2 (95% CI 28.9 to 134.0); F1000 308.3, B1000 380.3 (95% CI 10.5 to 133.5); F2000 207.3, B2000 318.5 (95% CI 5.8 to 216.7); placebo 399.9. Fluticasone produced greater effects than budesonide on the overnight urinary cortisol/creatinine ratio (nmol/mmol) at all three dose levels: F500 3.12, B500 5.55 (95% CI 0.16 to 3.79); F1000 2.54, B1000 6.12 (95% CI 1.25 to 5.91); F2000 2.07, B2000 6.09 (95% CI 0.88 to 7.18); placebo 5.23. CONCLUSIONS: With repeated dosing across a dose range of 250-1000 micrograms twice daily, fluticasone propionate produced significantly greater adrenal suppression than budesonide for both plasma and urinary cortisol. It was therefore possible to demonstrate differences between fluticasone and budesonide at lower doses with chronic dosing from those previously found with single dosing when given on a microgram equivalent basis in asthmatic patients. Factors contributing to the systemic adverse activity profile of fluticasone comprise enhanced receptor potency, prolonged receptor residency time, greater tissue retention, and a longer elimination half life.
Objective To investigate the occurrence of pneumonia and pneumonia related events in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treated with two different fixed combinations of inhaled corticosteroid/long acting β2 agonist.
Design Observational retrospective pairwise cohort study matched (1:1) for propensity score.
Setting Primary care medical records data linked to Swedish hospital, drug, and cause of death registry data for years 1999-2009.
Participants Patients with COPD diagnosed by a physician and prescriptions of either budesonide/formoterol or fluticasone/salmeterol.
Main outcome measures Yearly pneumonia event rates, admission to hospital related to pneumonia, and mortality.
Results 9893 patients were eligible for matching (2738 in the fluticasone/salmeterol group; 7155 in the budesonide/formoterol group), yielding two matched cohorts of 2734 patients each. In these patients, 2115 (39%) had at least one recorded episode of pneumonia during the study period, with 2746 episodes recorded during 19 170 patient years of follow up. Compared with budesonide/formoterol, rate of pneumonia and admission to hospital were higher in patients treated with fluticasone/salmeterol: rate ratio 1.73 (95% confidence interval 1.57 to 1.90; P<0.001) and 1.74 (1.56 to 1.94; P<0.001), respectively. The pneumonia event rate per 100 patient years for fluticasone/salmeterol versus budesonide/formoterol was 11.0 (10.4 to 11.8) versus 6.4 (6.0 to 6.9) and the rate of admission to hospital was 7.4 (6.9 to 8.0) versus 4.3 (3.9 to 4.6). The mean duration of admissions related to pneumonia was similar for both groups, but mortality related to pneumonia was higher in the fluticasone/salmeterol group (97 deaths) than in the budesonide/formoterol group (52 deaths) (hazard ratio 1.76, 1.22 to 2.53; P=0.003). All cause mortality did not differ between the treatments (1.08, 0.93 to 1.14; P=0.59).
Conclusions There is an intra-class difference between fixed combinations of inhaled corticosteroid/long acting β2 agonist with regard to the risk of pneumonia and pneumonia related events in the treatment of patients with COPD.
Trial registration Clinical Trials.gov NCT01146392.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Indications for the use of long-acting β2-agonists (LABAs) and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in patients with COPD are described in the various international guidelines, but no special recommendations are made concerning the use of combination inhalers containing a LABA as well as an ICS. To determine the place of combination inhalers in the treatment of COPD we reviewed recent literature concerning this subject. On molecular level ICS/LABA combination therapy has anti-inflammatory properties which cannot be attributed to ICS alone. All clinical studies indicate that the two available combinations (salmeterol/fluticasone and formoterol/budesonide) significantly reduce exacerbation rate of moderate/severe exacerbations when compared with placebo. Some studies also showed a significant reduction in exacerbation rate compared with LABA monotherapy, but not compared with ICS monotherapy. From the patient’s perspective, ICS/LABA combination inhalers are the first choice when both need to be prescribed, possibly improving patient compliance for ICS. Currently little evidence is available to predict if flexible treatment with LABA/ICS combination inhalers will improve disease control in COPD. Further studies are needed to elucidate the clinical benefit of combination inhalers versus the individual components in different inhalers, and to investigate the clinical benefit of flexible dosing of combination inhalers in patients with COPD.
COPD; long-acting β2-agonists; inhaled corticosteroids
This randomised, double-blind, 6-month study compared budesonide/formoterol for maintenance and relief with salmeterol/fluticasone and a fixed maintenance dose of budesonide/formoterol, both with terbutaline for relief. Following a 2-week run-in, 3335 symptomatic adults and adolescents (mean FEV1 73% predicted, mean inhaled corticosteroid dose 745 μg/day) received budesonide/formoterol 160/4.5 μg one inhalation bid plus additional inhalations as needed, salmeterol/fluticasone 25/125 μg two inhalations bid plus as-needed terbutaline or budesonide/formoterol 320/9 μg one inhalation bid plus as-needed terbutaline. Budesonide/formoterol for maintenance and relief prolonged the time to first severe exacerbation requiring hospitalisation, emergency room treatment or oral steroids (primary variable) vs. fixed-dose salmeterol/fluticasone and budesonide/formoterol (p = 0.0034 and p = 0.023 respectively; log-rank test). Exacerbation rates were 19, 16 and 12 events/100 patients/6 months for salmeterol/fluticasone, fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol and budesonide/formoterol for maintenance and relief, respectively, [rate reduction vs. fixed-dose salmeterol/fluticasone (0.61; 95% CI 0.49–0.76, p < 0.001) and vs. fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol (0.72; 95% CI 0.57–0.90, p = 0.0048)]. Budesonide/formoterol maintenance and relief patients used less inhaled corticosteroid vs. salmeterol/fluticasone and fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol patients. All treatments provided similar marked improvements in lung function, asthma control days and asthma-related quality of life. Budesonide/formoterol for maintenance and relief reduces asthma exacerbations and maintains similar daily asthma control at a lower overall drug load compared with fixed-dose salmeterol/fluticasone and budesonide/formoterol.
This study investigated the rapid onset of bronchodilation effect and compared lung function changes following budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort Turbuhaler®) inhalation in Chinese patients with moderate-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchial asthma.
In this open-label, parallel-group clinical study, patients eligible for study were divided into COPD group (n=62, mean age 68.16±8.75 years) and asthma group (n=30, mean age 45.80±12.35 years). Lung function tests (include FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC, and IC) were performed at baseline (t=0 min time point, value before inhalation of budesonide/formoterol), and then eligible patients received two inhalations of budesonide/formoterol (160/4.5 μg). Lung function tests were reassessed at t=3, 10 and 30 min time point. The primary end-point was lung function change 3 min after drug inhalation, and the secondary end-points were comparison of the gas flow rate (ΔFEV1) and volume responses (ΔFVC, ΔIC) between COPD and asthma patients after inhalation of budesonide/formoterol.
Compared with the baseline, all patients significantly improved their lung function (included FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC, and IC) at 3 min (P<0.05). Greater bronchodilation efficacy was found in the asthma group compared with the COPD group (P<0.05). In the asthmatic patients, the curves of FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC, IC, showed improvement with an ascending trend at all time points from 3 to 30 min. Whereas in the COPD patients, only the curves of FEV1, FVC, IC showed similar pattern. We found that ΔFVC was significantly higher than ΔFEV1 in both groups (P<0.05), but no significant difference between ΔIC and ΔFEV1 (P>0.05). Compared with COPD group, asthma group had higher level of ΔFEV1 and ΔIC (P<0.05), but no significant difference for ΔFVC can be found.
Budesonide/formoterol has a fast onset of bronchodilation effect in patients with moderate-severe COPD and asthma. Greater efficacy was found in the asthma group compared with the COPD group. The gas flow rate and volume responses in patients with COPD differ from those with asthma after inhalation of Budesonide/formoterol.
Budesonide/formoterol; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; bronchial asthma; lung function test
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:
Inhaled beta-agonist, anticholinergic and glucocorticoid medications are used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The present study assessed the patterns of persistence with the above mentioned inhaled medications.
Prescription claims data from the Ontario Drug Benefit Program were analyzed to assess persistence (time to discontinuation) and compliance (percentage of days with doses available divided by days to last refill) of patients prescribed inhaled medications. Patients were grouped as naive (no inhaled medication in the previous year) or experienced (previous or current treatment), and by age (18 to 65 years of age and older than 65 years of age). Medications included ipratropium, ipratropium plus salbutamol, formoterol, formoterol plus budesonide, salmeterol, salmeterol plus fluticasone, and tiotropium.
The database included 31,368 patients (4888 naive and 26,480 experienced) who were prescribed at least one of these medications. Fifteen per cent to 63% of patients continued on the index drug for more than six months, which decreased to 7% to 53% at 12 months, and 5% to 47% at 18 months. At 12 months, patients taking tiotropium had significantly longer persistence compared with other therapies (53% versus 7% to 30%; all P<0.0001), and fewer switches to alternative medications. Most naive patients had significantly shorter treatment persistence than experienced patients for all drugs (all P<0.0001), including tiotropium (27% versus 55%, P<0.0001). Compliance rates were similar for all drugs (ie, 76% to 94%) but were highest for tiotropium.
These data demonstrated that persistence with inhaled treatment was low overall, but patients treated with tiotropium remained on therapy significantly longer than when treated with other medications, and patients naive to inhaled treatment had shorter treatment persistence than experienced patients.
Anticholinergic; Asthma; Beta-agonist; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Glucocorticoid; Medication compliance; Treatment persistence
BACKGROUND: A study was performed to compare the adrenal suppression caused by inhaled fluticasone propionate and budesonide on a microgram equivalent basis, each given by metered dose inhaler to asthmatic patients. METHODS: Twelve asthmatic patients of mean age 29.9 years, with a forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 92.9% predicted and forced expiratory flow 25-75% (FEF25-75) 69.5% predicted, on less than or equal to 400 micrograms/day inhaled corticosteroid, were studied in a double blind placebo controlled crossover design comparing single doses of inhaled budesonide 400, 1000, 1600, 2000 micrograms and fluticasone propionate 500, 1000, 1500, 2000 micrograms. Doses were administered at 22.00 hours by metered dose inhaler with mouth rinsing and measurements were made in the laboratory 10 hours later. RESULTS: Serum cortisol levels compared with placebo (mean 325.2 nmol/l) were suppressed by fluticasone at doses of 1500 micrograms (211.6 nmol/l) and 2000 micrograms (112.3 nmol/l) and by budesonide at 2000 micrograms (243.4 nmol/l). Fluticasone propionate 2000 micrograms produced lower absolute serum cortisol levels than budesonide 2000 micrograms (95% CI for difference 42.9 to 219.2). The dose ratio (geometric mean) for the relative potency was 2.89 fold (95% CI 1.19 to 7.07). In terms of percentage suppression versus placebo, fluticasone propionate also produced greater effects (means and 95% CI for difference): budesonide 1600 micrograms (16.0) versus fluticasone propionate 1500 micrograms (40.9) (95% CI -0.6 to 50.6), budesonide 2000 micrograms (26.0) versus fluticasone 2000 micrograms (65.2) (95% CI 10.5 to 67.8). Individual serum cortisol levels at the two highest doses showed 15 of 24 patients below the normal limit of the reference range (150 nmol/l) for fluticasone and five of 24 for budesonide. Fluticasone propionate also caused greater ACTH suppression than budesonide (as % versus placebo): budesonide 1600 micrograms (12.0) versus fluticasone propionate 1500 micrograms (31.9) (95% CI 7.6 to 32.1), budesonide 2000 micrograms (13.5) versus fluticasone propionate 2000 micrograms (44.4) (95% CI 13.2 to 48.7). For overnight 10 hour urinary cortisol (nmol/10 hours) there was a difference between the lowest doses of the two drugs: budesonide 400 micrograms (37.2) versus fluticasone propionate 500 micrograms (19.9) (95% CI 6.9 to 27.8). CONCLUSIONS: Like budesonide the systemic bioactivity of fluticasone propionate is mainly due to lung vascular absorption. Fluticasone propionate exhibited at least twofold greater adrenal suppression than budesonide on a microgram equivalent basis in asthmatic patients.
The inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) fluticasone furoate is in development, in combination with the long-acting beta2-agonist vilanterol for the once-daily treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and as a monotherapy treatment for asthma. Corticosteroids, including ICSs, have the potential to induce dose-dependent systemic effects on the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Cortisol suppression has been observed in asthma patients with normal HPA axis function at baseline on receiving high doses of ICSs, and is associated with adverse effects on a number of physiological processes. The measurement of 24-h serum cortisol and 24-h urinary cortisol excretion are sensitive methods for assessing adrenocortical activity, and can evaluate cortisol suppression in a dose-dependent manner.
The purpose of the meta-analysis presented here was to characterize the population pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship between fluticasone furoate systemic exposure [as measured by area under the concentration–time curve over 24 h postdose (AUC24)] and both 24-h weighted mean serum cortisol (WM24) and 24-h urine cortisol excretion in healthy subjects and subjects with asthma.
The serum cortisol meta-analysis integrated eight studies; five Phase I studies in healthy subjects, two Phase IIa studies, and one Phase III study in subjects with asthma. Each study included serial blood sampling for estimation of WM24. The urine cortisol meta-analysis integrated three studies: one Phase I study in healthy subjects, and one Phase IIb and one Phase III study in subjects with asthma. Each study included complete 0–24 h urine collection for estimation of urine cortisol excretion. All studies included blood sampling for estimation of fluticasone furoate AUC24. A sigmoid maximum effect (Emax) model was fitted to fluticasone furoate AUC24 and serum cortisol and urine cortisol data using nonlinear mixed-effect modeling with the computer program NONMEM®.
Over a wide range of systemic fluticasone furoate exposure representing the therapeutic and supratherapeutic range, the relationship between fluticasone furoate AUC24 and WM24 and 24-h urine cortisol excretion was well described by an Emax model. The average estimate of AUC producing 50 % of maximum effect (AUC50) was similar for the serum cortisol and urine cortisol models with values of 1,556 and 1,686 pg·h/mL, respectively. Although formulation/inhaler was shown to be a significant covariate on the estimates of both WM24 at zero concentration (C0) and AUC50 in the serum cortisol model, the differences were small and believed to be due to study variability. Age was shown to be a significant covariate on the estimates of both C0 and AUC50 in the urine cortisol model, and was considered to be a reflection of lower urine cortisol excretion in adolescents.
A pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model has been established over a wide range of systemic fluticasone furoate exposure representing the therapeutic and supratherapeutic range to both WM24 and 24-h urine cortisol excretion. The values of AUC50 of 1,556 and 1,686 pg·h/mL, respectively, are several times higher than average fluticasone furoate AUC24 values observed at clinical doses of fluticasone furoate (≤200 μg). The models predict a fluticasone furoate AUC24 of 1,000 pg·h/mL would be required to reduce 24-h serum cortisol or 24-h urine cortisol excretion by 20 and 17 %, respectively.
BACKGROUND: In a previous single dosing study in asthmatic school children fluticasone propionate produced significantly greater suppression of overnight urinary cortisol excretion than budesonide at high doses of 800 micrograms/day or greater. The aim of this study was to assess whether conventional lower doses of both drugs cause adrenal suppression when given at steady state twice daily by large volume spacer on a microgram equivalent basis in asthmatic school children. METHODS: Eight school children of mean age 12.1 years with stable asthma of mild to moderate severity (forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 78.6% predicted, mid forced expiratory flow rate (FEF25- 75) 72.5% predicted), on 400 micrograms/day or less of inhaled corticosteroid, were studied in a single blind (investigator blind), placebo controlled, crossover design comparing inhaled budesonide and fluticasone propionate 100 micrograms bid and 200 micrograms bid. Each dose was given at 08.00 hours and 20.00 hours for four days by metered dose inhaler via their respective large volume spacers with mouth rinsing. Measurements were made of overnight urinary cortisol and creatinine excretion after the eighth dose. RESULTS: Neither drug produced significant suppression of overnight urinary cortisol or cortisol/creatinine excretion compared with pooled placebo and there were no differences between the drugs. Only one subject with each drug at 200 micrograms twice daily had abnormally low urinary cortisol excretion of < 10 nmol/12 hours. Ratios for the fold difference between active treatment versus placebo for urinary cortisol excretion were (as means and 95% confidence intervals for difference): budesonide 100 micrograms b.i.d 1.03 (95% CI 0.46 to 1.61), budesonide 200 micrograms b.i.d 1.04 (95% CI 0.62 to 1.46); fluticasone 100 micrograms b.i.d 1.11 (0.45 to 1.77), fluticasone 200 micrograms b.i.d 1.12 (0.78 to 1.47). Likewise, there were no significant differences in overnight urinary cortisol/creatinine excretion. CONCLUSIONS: With repeated twice daily administration at steady state across a dose range of 200-400 micrograms/day no evidence of significant adrenal suppression was found using the sensitive marker of overnight urinary cortisol excretion for either fluticasone propionate or budesonide given via a large volume spacer. These results emphasise the good safety profile in children of these inhaled steroids at conventional dose levels, which have proven antiasthmatic efficacy.
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to compare the systemic bioactivity of inhaled budesonide (B) and fluticasone propionate (F), each given by large volume spacer, on a microgram equivalent basis in asthmatic children. METHODS: Ten stable asthmatic children of mean age 11 years and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 81.6% predicted, who were receiving treatment with < or = 400 micrograms/day of inhaled corticosteroid, were studied in a placebo controlled single blind (investigator blind) randomised crossover design comparing single doses of inhaled budesonide and fluticasone propionate 400 micrograms, 800 micrograms, and 1250 micrograms. Doses were given at 20.00 hours with mouth rinsing and an overnight 12 hour urine sample was collected for estimation of free cortisol and creatinine excretion. RESULTS: The results of overnight 12 hour urinary cortisol output (nmol/12 hours) showed suppression with all doses of fluticasone propionate (as geometric means): F400 micrograms (11.99), F800 micrograms (6.49), F1250 micrograms (7.00) compared with placebo (24.43), whereas budesonide caused no suppression at any dose. A comparison of the drugs showed that there were differences at 800 micrograms and 1250 micrograms levels for urinary cortisol: B800 micrograms versus F800 micrograms (2.65-fold, 95% CI 1.26 to 5.58), B1250 micrograms versus F1250 micrograms (2.94-fold, 95% CI 1.67 to 5.15). The results for the cortisol/creatinine ratio were similar to that of urinary cortisol, with fluticasone causing suppression at all doses and with differences between the drugs at 800 micrograms and 1250 micrograms. CONCLUSIONS: Single doses of inhaled fluticasone produce greater systemic bioactivity than budesonide when given by large volume spacer on a microgram equivalent basis in asthmatic children. The systemic bioactivity of fluticasone, like budesonide, is due mainly to lung bioavailability.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the 4th leading cause of mortality worldwide. Long-acting bronchodilators are considered first line therapies for patients with COPD but their effects on mortality are not well known. We performed a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effects of long-acting bronchodilators on total mortality in stable COPD.
Using MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Systematic Review databases, we identified high quality randomized controlled trials of tiotropium, formoterol, salmeterol, formoterol/budesonide or salmeterol/fluticasone in COPD that had a follow-up of 6 months or longer and reported on total mortality. Two reviewers independently abstracted data from the original trials and disagreements were resolved by iteration and consensus.
Twenty-seven trials that included 30,495 patients were included in the review. Relative risk (RR) for total mortality was calculated for each of the study and pooled together using a random-effects model. The combination of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) and long-acting beta-2 agonist (LABA) therapy was associated with reduced total mortality compared with placebo (RR, 0.80; p = 0.005). Neither tiotropium (RR, 1.08; p = 0.61) nor LABA by itself (RR, 0.90; p = 0.21) was associated with mortality.
A combination of ICS and LABA reduced mortality by approximately 20%. Neither tiotropium nor LABA by itself modifies all-cause mortality in COPD.
Current practice guidelines for the treatment of COPD recommend the use of combined inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting bronchodilators in severe and very severe patients (GOLD stages III and IV). The aim of this study was to evaluate, through a simulation model, the economic consequences of this recommendation in Italy. We developed a cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) on five alternative therapeutic strategies (salmeterol/fluticasone, SF; formoterol/budesonide, FB; salmeterol alone, S; fluticasone alone, F; control, C). Published data on the Italian COPD population and efficacy data from international reference trials were fitted in a disease progression model based on a Markov chain representing severity stages and death. The yearly total direct costs of treating COPD patients in Italy was estimated at approximately €7 billion, with a mean cost per patient per year of around €2450. Mean survival of the cohort is 11.5 years. The C and F strategies were dominated (ie, are associated with worse outcomes and higher costs) by all alternatives. SF and FB were the most effective strategies, with a slight clinical superiority of SF, but they were also marginally more expensive than S. Incremental cost-effectiveness of SF vs S was €679.5 per avoided exacerbation and €3.3 per symptom-free day. Compared with current practice, the recommended use of combined inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting bronchodilators for severe and very severe COPD patients has the potential for improving clinical outcomes without increasing healthcare costs.
severe COPD; pharmacoeconomics; Markov chain; inhaled corticosteroids; inhaled bronchodilators; cost-effectiveness
Acute exacerbations of COPD can complicate the course of the disease in patients with severe airway obstruction. Reduction of exacerbations is an important clinical outcome in evaluating new therapies in COPD. Combination therapies with long-acting β-agonists and inhaled corticosteroids have now been approved for use. Three 1-year randomized clinical trials, which studied the effect of combining a long-acting β2-agonist with an inhaled corticosteroid in COPD, documented that exacerbation frequency was lower with therapy than placebo. Combination therapy had a similar effect to its monocomponents in the trial evaluating salmeterol/fluticasone combination. However, when patients with more severe COPD were studied using a combination of budesonide and formoterol, a clear improvement was seen in the overall exacerbation rates compared with the use of a long-acting β2-agonist alone.
COPD; exacerbation; inhaled corticosteroids; inhaled long-acting β2-agonists; budesonide; fluticasone; formoterol; salmeterol; combination therapy
Indacaterol is a novel, inhaled once-daily ultra-long-acting β2-agonist for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
This study compared the onset of action of single doses of indacaterol 150 and 300 μg with salbutamol 200 μg, salmeterol-fluticasone 50/500 μg, and placebo in moderate-to-severe COPD patients.
This was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. The primary variable was forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) at five minutes postdose.
Out of 89 patients randomized (mean age 62 years), 86 completed the study. At five minutes postdose, both indacaterol doses were statistically and clinically superior to placebo (P < 0.001), with treatment–placebo differences in FEV1 of 100 (95% confidence interval [CI] 70–130) mL and 120 (95% CI 90–150) mL for indacaterol 150 and 300 μg, respectively. FEV1 at five minutes postdose with both indacaterol doses was numerically higher than for salbutamol (10 and 30 mL for indacaterol 150 and 300 μg, respectively) and significantly higher than for salmeterol-fluticasone (50 mL, P = 0.003; 70 mL, P < 0.001, respectively). Moreover, both indacaterol doses showed significantly higher FEV1 than placebo (P < 0.001) at all postdose time points. The numbers of patients with an FEV1 increase of at least 12% and 200 mL at five minutes postdose were 16 (18.8%), 24 (27.6%), 20 (23.3%), 8 (9.1%), and 3 (3.4%) for indacaterol 150 and 300 μg, salbutamol 200 μg, salmeterol-fluticasone 50/500 μg, and placebo, respectively.
Single doses of indacaterol 150 and 300 μg demonstrated a fast onset of action similar to that for salbutamol and faster than that for salmeterol-fluticasone.
indacaterol; onset of action; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
To determine the effect of long term inhaled corticosteroids on lung function, exacerbations, and health status in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Double blind, placebo controlled study.
Eighteen UK hospitals.
751 men and women aged between 40 and 75 years with mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 50% of predicted normal.
Inhaled fluticasone propionate 500 μg twice daily from a metered dose inhaler or identical placebo.
Main outcome measures
Efficacy measures: rate of decline in FEV1 after the bronchodilator and in health status, frequency of exacerbations, respiratory withdrawals. Safety measures: morning serum cortisol concentration, incidence of adverse events.
There was no significant difference in the annual rate of decline in FEV1 (P=0.16). Mean FEV1 after bronchodilator remained significantly higher throughout the study with fluticasone propionate compared with placebo (P<0.001). Median exacerbation rate was reduced by 25% from 1.32 a year on placebo to 0.99 a year on with fluticasone propionate (P=0.026). Health status deteriorated by 3.2 units a year on placebo and 2.0 units a year on fluticasone propionate (P=0.0043). Withdrawals because of respiratory disease not related to malignancy were higher in the placebo group (25% v 19%, P=0.034).
Fluticasone propionate 500 μg twice daily did not affect the rate of decline in FEV1 but did produce a small increase in FEV1. Patients on fluticasone propionate had fewer exacerbations and a slower decline in health status. These improvements in clinical outcomes support the use of this treatment in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Background: Combination therapy with a long-acting bronchodilator and an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) is recommended in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who have frequent exacerbations. The efficacy and tolerability of the combination of budesonide/formoterol have been demonstrated in patients with COPD when administered via the dry powder inhaler (DPI) in a 1-year study and when administered via the hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) pressurized metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) in a 6-month study.
Objective: This study assessed the long-term efficacy and tolerability of budesonide/formoterol HFA pMDI in patients with moderate to very severe COPD.
Methods: This was a 12-month, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel-group, active- and placebo-controlled, multicentre study (NCT00206167) of 1964 patients aged ≥40 years with moderate to very severe COPD conducted from 2005 to 2007 at 237 sites in the US, Europe and Mexico. After 2 weeks of treatment based on previous therapy (ICSs, short-acting bronchodilators allowed), patients received one of the following treatments twice daily: budesonide/formoterol pMDI 160/4.5 μg × two inhalations (320/9 μg); budesonide/formoterol pMDI 80/4.5 μg × two inhalations (160/9 μg); formoterol DPI 4.5 μg × two inhalations (9 μg); or placebo.
Main outcome measures: The co-primary efficacy variables were pre-dose forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and 1-hour post-dose FEV1.
Results: Budesonide/formoterol 320/9 μg demonstrated greater improvements in pre-dose FEV1 versus formoterol (p = 0.008), and both budesonide/formoterol doses demonstrated greater improvements in 1-hour post-dose FEV1 versus placebo (p < 0.001). The rate of COPD exacerbations was lower in both budesonide/formoterol groups compared with formoterol and placebo (p ≤ 0.004). Both budesonide/formoterol doses were more effective than placebo (p ≤ 0.006) for controlling dyspnoea and improving health status (St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire). All treatments were generally well tolerated. The incidence of pneumonia was not different for active (3.4–4.0%) and placebo (5.0%) groups.
Conclusions: Budesonide/formoterol pMDI (320/9 μg and 160/9 μg) improved pulmonary function and reduced symptoms and exacerbations over 1 year in patients with moderate to very severe COPD. Only budesonide/formoterol pMDI 320/9 μg demonstrated greater efficacy for both co-primary variables compared with formoterol DPI 9 μg. Both budesonide/formoterol pMDI dosages were well tolerated relative to formoterol and placebo.
Electronic Supplementary Material
Supplementary material is available for this article at 10.2165/00003495-200969050-00004 and is accessible for authorized users.
Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are known to increase the risk of pneumonia in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is unclear whether the risk of pneumonia varies for different inhaled agents, particularly fluticasone and budesonide, and increases with the dose and long-term duration of use.
We formed a new-user cohort of patients with COPD treated during 1990–2005. Subjects were identified using the Quebec health insurance databases and followed through 2007 or until a serious pneumonia event, defined as a first hospitalisation for or death from pneumonia. A nested case–control analysis was used to estimate the rate ratio (RR) of serious pneumonia associated with current ICS use, adjusted for age, sex, respiratory disease severity and comorbidity.
The cohort included 163 514 patients, of which 20 344 had a serious pneumonia event during the 5.4 years of follow-up (incidence rate 2.4/100/year). Current use of ICS was associated with a 69% increase in the rate of serious pneumonia (RR 1.69; 95% CI 1.63 to 1.75). The risk was sustained with long-term use and declined gradually after stopping ICS use, disappearing after 6 months (RR 1.08; 95% CI 0.99 to 1.17). The rate of serious pneumonia was higher with fluticasone (RR 2.01; 95% CI 1.93 to 2.10), increasing with the daily dose, but was much lower with budesonide (RR 1.17; 95% CI 1.09 to 1.26).
ICS use by patients with COPD increases the risk of serious pneumonia. The risk is particularly elevated and dose related with fluticasone. While residual confounding cannot be ruled out, the results are consistent with those from recent randomised trials.
Clinical trials of a combination therapy of an inhaled corticosteroid, fluticasone propionate (FP), with a long-acting β2-agonist, salmeterol (Sal), have demonstrated a greater improvement in lung function and in quality of life measures after the combination compared with either component of alone. In a subanalysis of the data of the TRISTAN study, Sal/FP reduced exacerbation rates in COPD patients with a baseline FEV1<50% of predicted. A combination therapy of budesonide and formoterol improved quality of life and FEV1, and reduced exacerbations better than either component alone. In studies of FP or of Sal/FP in COPD, there was a reduction in all-cause mortality by 25% relative to placebo. Sal/FP has anti-inflammatory effects in COPD airways. FP inhibits markers of systemic inflammation, and it is not known whether Sal/FP has an advantage over FP alone. While long-acting β2-agonists such as Sal can be recommended for treatment of moderate COPD, addition of inhaled steroid therapy such as FP should be considered in more severe disease.
fluticasone; salmeterol; COPD
The benefit harm profile of inhaled corticosteroids, and their effect on patient oriented outcomes and comorbid pneumonia, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease remain uncertain.
An overview of the evidence on the risks and benefits of inhaled corticosteroids (fluticasone and budesonide) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from recent randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews. Observational studies on adverse effects were also evaluated.
Evidence from recent meta-analysis suggests a modest benefit from inhaled corticosteroid long-acting beta-agonist combination inhalers on the frequency of exacerbations, (rate ratio [RR], 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.78 to 0.88), in improvements in quality of life measures, and forced expiratory volume in one second when compared to long-acting beta-agonists alone. On the outcome of pneumonia, our updated meta-analysis of trials (n = 24 trials; RR, 1.56; 95% CI: 1.40–1.74, P < 0.0001) and observational studies (n = 4 studies; RR, 1.44; 95% CI: 1.20–1.75, P = 0.0001) shows a significant increase in the risk of pneumonia with the inhaled corticosteroids currently available (fluticasone and budesonide). Evidence for any intraclass differences in the risk of pneumonia between currently available formulations is inconclusive due to the absence of head to head trials. Inhaled corticosteroids have no cardiovascular effects.
Among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, clinicians should carefully balance these long-term risks of inhaled corticosteroid against their symptomatic benefits.
inhaled corticosteroids; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; pneumonia; cardiovascular events
OBJECTIVE—To investigate effects on adrenal
function of fluticasone, a recently released inhaled steroid
preparation with lower systemic bioavailability than beclomethasone dipropionate.
METHODS—34 children on high doses (400-909 µg/m2/d) of inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate or
budesonide were recruited into a double blind, crossover study
investigating the effects on adrenal function of beclomethasone and
fluticasone propionate, given using a standard spacer (Volumatic). The
24 hour excretion rates of total cortisol and cortisol metabolites were
determined at baseline (after a two week run in), after six weeks
treatment with an equal dose of beclomethasone, and after six weeks of
treatment with half the dose of fluticasone, both given through a
RESULTS—The comparison of effects between
fluticasone and beclomethasone during treatment periods, although
favouring fluticasone in all measured variables, reached significance
only after correction for urinary creatinine excretion
(tetrahydrocortisol and 5α-tetrahydrocortisol geometric means:
424 v 341 µg/m2/d). The baseline data showed
adrenal suppression in the children taking beclomethasone (total
cortisol geometric means: 975 v 1542µg/d) and a dose
related suppression in the children taking budesonide. Suppressed
adrenal function in the children who were taking beclomethasone at
baseline subsequently improved with fluticasone and beclomethasone during treatment periods.
CONCLUSIONS—Fluticasone is less likely to
suppress adrenal function than beclomethasone at therapeutically
equivalent doses. The baseline data also support the claim that spacer
devices should be used for the administration of high doses of inhaled
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) represents a major global cause of disability and death. COPD is currently the fourth most common global cause of death and also exerts an enormous toll on patients quality of life. The present database analysis aimed to identify clinical trials using fixed combination therapies that have assessed the impact on the patients quality of life. Within the different studies, questionnaires including the George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire (CRDQ) and the Clinical COPD Questionnaire (CCQ) were used and differing results in quality of life were obtained when combination therapies such as fluticasone/salmeterol or fluticasone/salmeterol were compared with monotherapies. While there were some differences in favor of combination therapies reported when the combination therapy was compared to inhaled steroid monotherapy there were no consistent differences when combination therapies were compared to bronchodilator monotherapies. Future trials will lead to a proof-of-principle stage concerning the use of combination therapies.
COPD; combination therapy; corticoid; steroid; corticosteroid
Budesonide/formoterol is an effective treatment for both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This study compared the efficacy and safety of a novel hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) pressurised metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) formulation of budesonide/formoterol with that of budesonide pMDI and budesonide/formoterol dry-powder inhaler (DPI; Turbuhaler®).
This was a 12-week, multinational, randomised, double-blind, double-dummy study involving patients aged ≥ 12 years with asthma. All patients had a forced expiratory volume in 1 s of 50–90% predicted normal and were inadequately controlled on inhaled corticosteroids (500–1600 mu g/day) alone. Following a 2-week run-in, during which they received their usual medication, patients were randomised (two inhalations twice daily) to budesonide pMDI 200 mu g, budesonide/formoterol DPI 160/4.5 mu g or budesonide/formoterol pMDI 160/4.5 mu g. The primary efficacy end-point was change from baseline in morning peak expiratory flow (PEF).
In total, 680 patients were randomised, of whom 668 were included in the primary analysis. Therapeutically equivalent increases in morning PEF were observed with budesonide/formoterol pMDI (29.3 l/min) and budesonide/formoterol DPI (32.0 l/min) (95% confidence interval: −10.4 to 4.9; p = 0.48). The increase in morning PEF with budesonide/formoterol pMDI was significantly higher than with budesonide pMDI (+28.7 l/min; p < 0.001). Similar improvements with budesonide/formoterol pMDI vs. budesonide pMDI were seen for all secondary efficacy end-points. Both combination treatments were similarly well tolerated.
Budesonide/formoterol, administered via the HFA pMDI or DPI, is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for adult and adolescent patients with asthma, with both devices being therapeutically equivalent.
Backgrounds: Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS)/inhaled long-acting beta2-agonists (LABA) combination drugs are widely used for the long-term management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, COPD is a heterogeneous condition and treatment with ICS is associated with a higher risk of pneumonia. The identification of a specific marker for predicting the efficacy of ICS/LABA on pulmonary function would be useful in the treatment of COPD. Methods: Fourteen COPD patients receiving tiotropium therapy participated consecutively. The relationship between the baseline exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) levels as well as serum markers and changes in pulmonary function by fluticasone propionate (FP)/salmeterol (SAL) were analyzed. Results: FP/SAL therapy significantly improved forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), and the third phase slope of the single nitrogen washout curve (ΔN2) as well as the FENO level. The baseline FENO levels and positive specific IgE (atopy+) were significantly associated with airway obstructive changes assessed by FEV1 and ΔN2. A baseline FENO level >35 ppb yielded 80.0% sensitivity and 66.7% specificity for identifying the subjects with significant improvement in FEV1 (greater than 200 mL). An atopy+ yielded 60.0% sensitivity and 88.9% specificity for an improvement in FEV1. When combined with FENO > 35 ppb and atopy+, it showed 40% sensitivity and 100.0% specificity for FEV1 improvement. Alternatively, COPD subjects with FENO ≤ 35 ppb and atopy− did not show significant improvement in FEV1. Conclusion: Combining FENO and specific IgE may be a useful marker for predicting the response to ICS/LABA on airflow limitation in COPD.
airflow limitation; airway inflammation; atopy; exhaled nitric oxide; inhaled corticosteroid; inhaled long-acting beta2-agonist
BACKGROUND--The acute response to bronchodilators in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is modest; it has, however, been suggested that these patients may benefit from long term treatment. METHODS--To investigate the efficacy of salmeterol in smokers with moderate to severe COPD a double blind, randomised, crossover comparison was performed between salmeterol (50 micrograms twice daily) and placebo in 63 patients with stable COPD (mean age 65 years). Prior to inclusion, all patients had a forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) of < 60% of predicted and an improvement in FEV1 of < 15% following 400 micrograms inhaled salbutamol. Patients received four weeks of therapy with each of the treatment regimens. Assessment of efficacy was made with recording of morning and evening peak expiratory flow rates (PEF), respiratory symptoms, and use of rescue salbutamol. FEV1 was measured before and after nebulised salbutamol prior to randomisation and at the end of each treatment period. RESULTS--Morning PEF values were higher during the salmeterol than during the placebo period, although the mean treatment difference was small (12 l/min (95% confidence limits 6 to 17)). No difference in mean evening PEF values was found. Diurnal variation in PEF, assessed as the difference between the morning PEF and that of the previous evening, was more pronounced during the placebo than during the salmeterol period. The mean spirometric values (including reversibility in FEV1) obtained at the end of the two treatment periods were similar. Compared with placebo, treatment with salmeterol was associated with lower daytime and night time symptom scores and less use of rescue salbutamol both during the day and the night. The patients rated the treatment with salmeterol better than treatment with placebo. CONCLUSIONS--This study shows that, compared with placebo, treatment with salmeterol produces an improvement in respiratory symptoms and morning PEF values in patients with moderate to severe COPD. Treatment with long acting beta agonists may therefore result in an improvement in functional status, even in patients suffering from apparently nonreversible obstructive pulmonary disease.