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Monday 01 December 2003

A short-term comparison of fluticasone propionate/salmeterol with ipratropium bromide/albuterol for the treatment of COPD.

By: Donohue JF, Kalberg C, Emmett A, Merchant K, Knobil K.

Treat Respir Med 2004;3(3):173-81

BACKGROUND: This is the first comparison of two combination therapies, fluticasone propionate/salmeterol and ipratropium bromide/albuterol (salbutamol), for the treatment of patients with COPD. METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel group, multicenter evaluation of fluticasone propionate/salmeterol 250/50 microg twice daily via DISKUS and ipratropium bromide/albuterol 36/206 microg four times daily via metered-dose inhaler over 8 weeks was conducted at 41 research sites in the US. Morning pre-dose FEV(1), 6-hour serial spirometry, PEF, dyspnea, night-time awakenings, supplemental albuterol use, and patient diary evaluations of symptoms were evaluated. RESULTS: A total of 365 patients with symptomatic COPD were enrolled. The treatment groups were similar in mean age (63.3 and 63.9 years), screening pulmonary function (44.1% and 43.2% of predicted FEV(1)), race (96% and 95% White), and sex distribution (59% and 60% male). Both fluticasone propionate/salmeterol and ipratropium bromide/albuterol improved lung function, symptoms, and supplemental albuterol use compared with baseline. Fluticasone propionate/salmeterol was more effective than ipratropium bromide/albuterol for improvement in morning pre-dose FEV(1), morning PEF, 6-hour FEV(1) area under the curve (AUC(6)), Transition Dyspnea Index (TDI) focal score, daytime symptom score, night-time awakenings, sleep symptoms, and albuterol-free nights (p < or = 0.013). Compared with day 1, at week 8 the FEV(1) AUC(6) significantly increased with fluticasone propionate/salmeterol and significantly decreased with ipratropium bromide/albuterol (p < or = 0.003). The incidence of adverse events was similar between treatment groups, except for a higher incidence of oral candidiasis with fluticasone propionate/salmeterol. CONCLUSIONS: Short-term treatment with the combined inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta(2)-adrenoceptor agonist fluticasone propionate/salmeterol resulted in greater control of lung function and symptoms than combined ipratropium bromide/albuterol bronchodilator therapy, in patients with COPD.

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