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Friday 01 October 1999

Comparison of different long-term asthma treatments in subjects with mild-to-moderate asthma.

By: Di Franco A, Giannini D, Bacci E, Dente FL, Vagaggini B, Paggiaro PL.

Monaldi Arch Chest Dis 1999 Oct;54(5):390-3

In order to compare the efficacy of different asthma treatment in subjects with mild-to-moderate asthma, three groups of 11 patients were treated with nedocromil sodium (NS), beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) and beclomethasone dipropionate plus salmeterol (BDP + S) in an open, randomized study. Symptom score, peak expiratory flow (PEF) maximal amplitude, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and methacholine reactivity were measured at the baseline and at intervals of 3 months up to 12 months. After 3 months, symptoms reduced significantly in all treatment groups, while PEF variability improved in BDP and BDP + S groups; FEV1 and bronchial responsiveness to methacholine were significantly improved in comparison with baseline value in the BDP + S group only. No significant difference was observed after 6 and 12 months of treatment in PEF variability, FEV1 or bronchial hyperreactivity in the NS group compared with baseline values, while a significant difference was observed in symptom score. BDP group showed a significant improvement in FEV1 and bronchial reactivity to methacholine after 6 and 12 months of treatment. In the BDP + S group, the improvement in symptoms and pulmonary function persisted until the end of the study. In conclusion, the combination of beclomethasone dipropionate and salmeterol improved pulmonary function and bronchial reactivity earlier than beclomethasone dipropionate alone, while nedocromil sodium improved symptoms but not pulmonary function. Assuming that bronchial reactivity could be an indirect measurement of airway inflammation, overtreatment of asthma in relationship with the classification of asthma severity of the International Guidelines could improve both airway inflammation and the prognosis of airway obstruction.

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