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Wednesday 01 November 2000

Salbutamol via Easyhaler is at least as effective as salbutamol via Turbuhaler in the treatment of histamine-induced bronchoconstriction.

By: Zetterstrom O, Lahelma S, Keski-karhu J, Silvasti M, Ostling-kulling E, Ahonen A.

Respir Med 2000 Nov;94(11):1097-102

The aim of this study was to compare the clinical efficacy and acceptability of salbutamol inhaled via Easyhaler and Turbuhaler multi-dose dry powder inhalers in the treatment of histamine-induced bronchoconstriction. Thirty-two adult patients with asthma and/or bronchial hyper-reactivity were included in the study, which was carried out according to a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, cross-over design. Histamine challenge test was performed on 2 study days separated by at least 7 days. The challenge test was continued until a > or = 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1) was achieved. The patients then inhaled a single 100 microg dose of salbutamol from Easyhaler, or from Turbuhaler. FEV1 was assessed by flow-volume spirometry before and after histamine challenge and 1.5, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 and 60 min after salbutamol inhalation. The primary efficacy variable was the maximum percentage change in FEV1 from the post-challenge value. The secondary efficacy variable was area under the curve (AUC) of FEV1. At the end of the study, acceptability of salbutamol Easyhaler was evaluated using a questionnaire and Easyhaler was also compared with the inhalation device the patient had used earlier. Twenty-six patients completed the study. Both salbutamol Easyhaler and salbutamol Turbuhaler produced a rapid and significant increase in FEV1, with maximum percentage changes being 43.9% (+/-15.3) and 40.5% (+/-21.9) from the post-challenge value, respectively. There were no significant differences between the two inhalation devices in terms of changes in FEV1 or AUC of FEV1. The use of Easyhaler and getting a new dose from Easyhaler was considered to be very easy by 65% and easy by 35% of the patients. None considered it difficult. Of 16 patients who had used Turbuhaler earlier, 19% considered Easyhaler much better, 44% better, and 38% the same as Turbuhaler, and none considered it worse. In conclusion, the results show that salbutamol Easyhaler was at least as effective as salbutamol Turbuhaler in the treatment of histamine-induced bronchoconstriction. In addition, the patients considered Easyhaler very easy or easy to use. The majority of patients who reported Turbuhaler as their own inhaler considered Easyhaler better or much better than Turbuhaler.

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