Fluticasone-formoterol: A systematic review of its potential role in the treatment of asthma

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Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management


Background: The purpose of this systematic review is to summarize and evaluate the available published data regarding the efficacy and safety of a combination product containing fluticasone propionate/formoterol (FP-F) in order to establish its potential role compared with other inhaled combination corticosteroid/long-acting beta2 receptor agonists for the maintenance treatment of asthma. Methods: A PubMed and EMBASE search was conducted using the terms “fluticasone propionate”, “formoterol fumarate”, “Flutiform®”, and “asthma” in July 2014 to identify trials using this combination specifically for the treatment of asthma. Additional information was gathered from references cited in the identified publications, the package insert, and the ClinicalTrials.gov registry. All randomized controlled clinical trials for humans in asthma were evaluated for inclusion. Data from animal trials, clinical trials for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and non-English sources were excluded. Results: Seven short-term safety and efficacy trials of FP-F compared with its individual components and two comparison trials of FP-F versus other combination products were identified. Generally, the incidence of drug-related adverse events was low and consistent with previously reported drug class-related adverse events (ie, pharyngitis, dysphonia, and headache). The combination of FP-F was shown to be noninferior to fluticasone propionate/salmeterol for improving predose forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1) and 2 hours post dose FEV1. FP-F was also noninferior to budesonide/formoterol in improving predose FEV1. Other clinical endpoints, including various symptom scores, asthma control, quality of life, and subjects’ assessment of the medications were not significantly different. Conclusion: Poor asthma control is common. The data from short-term studies indicate that this inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta2 receptor agonist combination product is noninferior to similar combination products available. As FP-F is available in different strengths, the corticosteroid dose can be titrated without changing devices. A potential advantage is that those with good technique, the same type of device could be used for both their controller and rapid relief inhaler medicines. The choice of this combination versus other similar products may be based primarily on cost.

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