A recently conducted biopsy study demonstrates that a lower dose of an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) with the addition of a long acting beta2-agonist (LABA) is as effective in maintaining control of airway inflammation as a medium-dose ICS alone in patients with moderate asthma, according to a GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC, press release. The study, published in the July issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), compared Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol) 100/50 mcg with fluticasone propionate (FP) 250 mcg over a 24-week treatment period in patients requiring a medium-dose ICS.

“It is important that physicians review the ICS dose used with their asthma patients on a regular basis, and reduce the dose to the minimum that will effectively control the disease,” said lead study investigator Nizar N. Jarjour, MD, professor and head section of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. “These findings reinforce an earlier study which shows that adding a LABA to a lower dose ICS is an effective treatment option for maintaining control of asthma.”

The study findings are consistent with current National Institute of Health (NIH) Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, which recommend the use of an ICS and a LABA as the preferred therapy for patients with moderate to severe persistent asthma. While the anti-inflammatory effects of ICS are well-established, long-term use at high doses has been associated with some side effects. This study may provide physicians with new insight to help evaluate long-term treatment of patients with moderate persistent asthma.