Formoterol as reliever medication in asthma: a post-hoc analysis of the subgroup of the RELIEF study in East AsiaReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine

, 16:8

First Online: 12 January 2016Received: 30 April 2015Accepted: 24 December 2015


BackgroundAs-needed formoterol can effectively relieve asthma symptoms. Since budesonide-formoterol is available as maintenance and reliever therapy in Asia, formoterol is now being used as-needed, but always with concomitant inhaled corticosteroids. The objective of this analysis was to assess the safety and efficacy of formoterol therapy in patients in East Asia China, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines and Singapore with asthma.

MethodsPost-hoc analyses of data from the East Asian population of the RELIEF REal LIfe EFfectiveness of Oxis® Turbuhaler® as-needed in asthmatic patients; study identification code: SD-037-0699 study were performed.

ResultsThis sub-group comprised 2834 randomised patients formoterol n = 1418; salbutamol n = 1416 with mean age 35 years; 50.7 % were male. 2678 patients completed the study. There was no significant difference in the total number of adverse events AEs reported in the formoterol and salbutamol groups 21.3 % vs 20.9 % of patients; p = 0.813, nor in the total number of serious AEs and-or discontinuations due to AEs 4.6 % vs 5.5 %, respectively; p = 0.323. Compared with salbutamol, formoterol was associated with a significantly longer time to first exacerbation hazard ratio 0.86; p = 0.023 and a 14 % reduction in the risk of any exacerbation p < 0.05. Relative to salbutamol, mean adjusted reliever medication use throughout the study was significantly lower in the formoterol group p = 0.017 and the risk of increased asthma medication use was 20 % lower with formoterol p = 0.005.

ConclusionsAmong patients with asthma in East Asia, as-needed formoterol and salbutamol had similar safety profiles but, compared with salbutamol, formoterol reduced the risk of exacerbations, increased the time to first exacerbation and reduced the need for reliever medication.

KeywordsAsthma Beta-agonist Bronchodilator Formoterol Safety AbbreviationAEAdverse event

CIConfidence interval

DAEDiscontinuation due to adverse event

DPIDry powder inhaler

GINAGlobal INitiative for Asthma

HRHazard ratio

ICSInhaled corticosteroid

LABALong-acting β2-agonist

OROdds ratio

RELIEFREal Life EFfectiveness of Oxis® Turbuhaler® as-needed in asthmatic patients

SABAShort-acting β2-agonist

SAESerious adverse event

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12890-015-0166-0 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Qi Jian Cheng - Shao-Guang Huang - Yu Zhi Chen - Jiang-Tao Lin - Xin Zhou - Bao-Yuan Chen - Yu-Lin Feng - Xia Ling - Mal


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