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Monday 01 December 2003

Inhaled salmeterol/fluticasone propionate: a review of its use in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

By: Fenton C, Keating GM.

Drugs 2004;64(17):1975-96

The salmeterol/fluticasone propionate dry powder inhaler (DPI) [Advair Diskus, Seretide Accuhaler] contains the long-acting beta2-adrenoceptor agonist salmeterol and the inhaled corticosteroid fluticasone propionate. In the US, twice-daily salmeterol/fluticasone propionate 50/250 microg is approved for use in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) associated with chronic bronchitis, and in the EU, the twice-daily 50/500 microg dosage is approved for use in patients with severe COPD, repeat exacerbations and significant symptoms despite bronchodilator therapy. In patients with moderate-to-severe COPD, twice-daily inhaled salmeterol/fluticasone propionate 50/250 or 50/500 microg for 24-52 weeks improves predose forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) significantly more than salmeterol monotherapy, improves postdose or postbronchodilator FEV1 significantly more than fluticasone propionate monotherapy and results in clinically significant improvements in health-related quality of life. Salmeterol/fluticasone propionate 50/500 microg significantly reduced annual COPD exacerbations, especially in severe COPD. Some corticosteroid-related adverse events were increased in recipients of fluticasone propionate with or without salmeterol versus salmeterol monotherapy or placebo; withdrawal from fluticasone propionate, including combination therapy, needs careful management to minimise COPD exacerbations. The DPI combining a corticosteroid and long-acting beta2-agonist provides benefits over monotherapy and may encourage patient compliance in COPD.

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