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Combo Therapy may Be Highly Beneficial in Asthma Control

A new study has found that combination asthma therapy, SYMBICORT leads to significant improvements in health-related quality of life (HRQL) and greater patient-reported satisfaction with asthma treatment, versus its monocomponents (budesonide or formoterol or placebo).

SYMBICORT is a recently approved, combination therapy indicated for the long-term maintenance treatment of asthma in patients 12 years of age and older. SYMBICORT does not replace fast-acting inhalers and should not be used to treat acute symptoms of asthma.

SYMBICORT is a combination of two proven asthma medications budesonide, an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), and formoterol, a rapid and long-acting beta agonist (LABA).

As part of the 12-week, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study, researchers measured HRQL in 553 patients with moderate-to-severe persistent asthma treated with one of five SYMBICORT therapies.

The patients were subjected to two inhalations with SYMBICORT in one pressurised meter-dose inhaler (pMDI) 160/4.5 micrograms (mcg); budesonide pMDI 160 mcg; formoterol via dry-powder inhaler (DPI) 4.5 mcg; budesonide pMDI 160 mcg + formoterol DPI 4.5 mcg in separate inhalers; or placebo, each bid.

HRQL was assessed using the standardised Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire [AQLQ(S)], a validated survey that measures how asthma affects a person's daily activities, emotional functioning, and symptoms and using patient and physician global assessments.

The study also measured satisfaction to treatment in 390 patients with mild-to-moderate asthma previously treated with inhaled corticosteroids. Patients were randomised to receive treatment with two inhalations with SYMBICORT 80/4.5 mcg, budesonide pMDI 80 mcg, formoterol DPI 4.5 mcg, or placebo, each bid.

Patient satisfaction was assessed using three indices of the Patient Satisfaction with Asthma Medication (PSAM) questi onnaire, which measures relief of symptoms, perception of medication, and comparison with other medications based on a score of 1 (lowest) to 100 (highest).

Researchers found that SYMBICORT led to statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in AQLQ(S) scores versus formoterol DPI or placebo. SYMBICORT also significantly improved AQLQ(S) scores, compared with budesonide pMDI on all measures except for emotional function.

Also, SYMBICORT resulted in significantly high satisfaction scores.

The findings of the study were presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2007 International Conference held in San Francisco.


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