Novel Combination Therapy For Asthma Found To Be Safe And Fast-Acting

by Dr. Nithin Jayan on  January 11, 2012 at 4:33 PM Health In Focus
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The novel fixed-dose drug combination of mometasone furoate and formoterol fumarate (MF/F) may have the same efficacy as that of the commonly prescribed fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (FP/S) combination in the treatment of asthma. MF/F has a quicker onset of action compared with FP/S.
Novel Combination Therapy For Asthma Found To Be Safe And Fast-Acting
Novel Combination Therapy For Asthma Found To Be Safe And Fast-Acting

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the airways to swell and narrow. It results in recurrent coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and breathlessness. More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, with over 80% of related deaths reported from low and lower-middle income countries. Asthma is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in rural India.

Symptoms of persistent asthma are relieved by inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) drugs. When these drugs cannot control asthma alone, another category of drugs called long-acting β2-agonists (LABA) like salmeterol and formoterol is added. Mometasone furoate/formoterol is the most recent ICS/LABA combination therapy available for treating persistent asthma.

While most of the previous studies tested the safety profile of this combination therapy, none evaluated the efficacy in comparison with the commonly prescribed fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (FP/S) combination. MF/F is well tolerated and has a safety profile similar to FP/S.

A recently published study was a 12-week long multicenter trial in patients with uncontrolled persistent asthma previously treated with medium-dose ICS with or without a LABA. Factors assessed included lung function, asthma control, quality of life and symptoms, clinically-judged asthma deteriorations, and safety. (Asthma resulting in emergency treatment, hospitalization, or treatment with additional drugs defines clinically-judged asthma deteriorations.)

The results indicate that MF/F improves lung function and asthma control similar to FP/S. It also has a superior onset of action compared with FP/S.A faster onset of action is a highly desired characteristic required in asthma therapy, especially from a patient perspective. Patients are more likely to stick on to a medication that works fast and alleviates symptoms soon after initiating therapy. Treatment satisfaction is a requisite for any modality of disease management. Significant improvement in lung function was observed 5-30 minutes after delivery of MF/F via metered-dose inhaler (MDI).      

Both the drug combinations are safe, well tolerated, and improve asthma control. MF/F, however, has a faster onset of action than FP/S.

References :

Efficacy and Onset of Action of Mometasone Furoate/Formoterol and Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol Combination Treatment in Subjects With Persistent Asthma

Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2011, 7:21 doi:10.1186/1710-1492-7-21

Source: Medindia

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