We previously showed that the long-acting beta agonist (LABA) salmeterol as inhalation powder or metered-dose inhaler improves lung-function parameters assessed by impulse oscillometry (IOS) in 2- to 5-year-old children with reversible-airway disease within 15 minutes.
We studied 12- to 45-year-olds with mild persistent asthma in order to compare the onset and extent of peripheral airway effects following the first dose and after 4 weeks dosing with two inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/LABA combinations: fluticasone propionate/salmeterol 115/21 and budesonide/formoterol 160/4.5.
Thirty subjects with mild persistent asthma using only an as-needed short-acting beta-agonist (albuterol) who had at least a 40% change in integrated low-frequency reactance postalbuterol were selected and randomized to receive either fluticasone propionate/salmeterol or budesonide/formoterol (15 subjects each). We collected three to six IOS replicates at baseline, at 5, 20, 40, 60, 120, and 240 minutes postdose at randomization, and after 4 weeks of twice-daily dosing. Blinded investigators calculated IOS frequency-dependent resistance and reactance (R5–R20 and AX), indicative of small-airway dysfunction, and also estimated the peripheral airway resistance (Rp) and peripheral airway compliance (Cp), using a respiratory-impedance model.
At randomization visits, onset of action was detected as early as 5 minutes (t-test, P < 0.05) after fluticasone propionate/salmeterol by Cp, and within 5 minutes after budesonide/formoterol by R5–R20, AX, Rp, and Cp. However, after 4 weeks of dosing, only Rp was significantly different (from 60 to 120 minutes) after fluticasone propionate/salmeterol, while R5–R20, AX, Rp, and Cp were not significantly different within 240 minutes after budesonide/formoterol.
These two ICS/LABA combinations initially improved the peripheral airway function of 12- to 45-year-old asthmatics significantly in about 5 minutes or less, as measured by R5–R20, AX, Rp, and/or Cp. After regular dosing for 4 weeks, pre- to postdose differences in these parameters had diminished significantly due to improved predose status of peripheral airways. Single dosing with ICS/LABA combinations in mild persistent asthma improves small-airway function, and the effect is maintained over a 12-hour interval by regular use for 4 weeks.