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Thursday 01 March 2001

Switching from Ventolin CFC to Ventolin HFA is well tolerated and effective in patients with asthma.

By: Lumry W, Noveck R, Weinstein S, Barnhart F, Vandermeer A, Murray A, Reisner C.

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2001 Mar;86(3):297-303

BACKGROUND: Environmental imperatives to eliminate the use of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellants in metered-dose inhalers have led to the development of metered-dose inhalers with the hydrofluoroalkane (HFA-134a) propellants. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the clinical effect of switching from Ventolin CFC to Ventolin HFA and to compare the efficacy and safety of Ventolin CFC, Ventolin HFA, and placebo in patients with asthma. METHODS: Multicenter, double-blind, randomized safety and efficacy trial comparing regular use of Ventolin CFC versus Ventolin HFA versus placebo for 12 weeks in 313 patients with asthma aged 12 years and older who received Ventolin CFC during a 3-week run-in period. RESULTS: Patients who were switched from Ventolin CFC to Ventolin HFA maintained pulmonary function and other measures of asthma control at levels comparable with run-in baseline. Serial pulmonary function testing demonstrated that both Ventolin treatments had significantly greater mean improvement in FEV1 over baseline than the placebo group at treatment day 1 and weeks 6 and 12 (P < .001). Both Ventolin groups had comparable pulmonary function at every visit. Predose FEV1 values were maintained or improved over time with all treatments. Treatments were well-tolerated. The adverse event profile for both Ventolin treatments was comparable with placebo. No clinically relevant effects on ECG, vital signs, or clinical laboratory tests were noted. Asthma exacerbation rates were 4% to 5% in the Ventolin groups and slightly higher (8%) in the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS: Patients who were switched from Ventolin CFC to Ventolin HFA maintained comparable asthma control with a similar safety profile.

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