People with uncontrolled asthma may be able to gain complete control of their condition, say researchers .
Researchers studied 3,416 patients with uncontrolled asthma. Some of the patients had never before taken an inhaled steroid for their asthma; some were on a low-dose inhaled steroid; and some were on a moderate-dose inhaled steroid. Patients in all three subgroups were randomly assigned to receive either the inhaled steroid fluticasone propionate or a combination of fluticasone propionate and a long-acting beta-2 agonist, salmeterol. All patients were followed for one year.
Researchers defined "total control" of asthma as having no acute attacks, emergency room visits, or adverse drug effects for seven out of eight weeks of assessment. It was observed that 41 percent of the patients achieved total control of their asthma by the one-year follow-up. Many others were considered well controlled. Overall patients taking the combination drug fared the best. The patients also achieved control faster and with lower doses of the inhaled steroid drug.
Thus researchers say that their results demonstrate that in the majority of patients with uncontrolled asthma across a wide range of severities, comprehensive guideline-defined control can be achieved and maintained.