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Saturday 01 September 2001

Clinical efficacy with formoterol in the absence of a response to salmeterol: a review.

By: Kottakis J, Wood R, Le Gros V, Della Cioppa G.

Int J Clin Pract 2001 Sep;55(7):476-9

Salmeterol and formoterol are both beta 2-agonist bronchodilators with a long duration of action and are often classified together, yet they are distinctly different in their pharmacology. Recent evidence suggests there is a subpopulation of asthmatic patients who do not respond to salmeterol, yet can attain clinical benefit with formoterol. Following a literature search, three published case reports are reviewed as well as results from two published clinical trials designed specifically to document response to formoterol in 'non-responders to salmeterol' asthmatics. Possible mechanisms underlying this observation are discussed, including pharmacological differences of the two drugs relating to agonism at the beta 2-receptor and to effect on nuclear transcription factors.

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