Study objective: In this study, the efficacy and safety of triamcinolone acetonide (TA) metered-dose inhaler with a built-in tube extender and beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) metered-dose inhaler without a spacer device were compared. Both treatments were dosed at their most commonly used daily doses (within labeling).
Design: A 56-day, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled trial.
Setting: Seventeen asthma/allergy centers.
Patients: We enrolled 339 patients 18 to 65 years of age, with a documented history of bronchial asthma (FEV1, 50 to 90% of predicted value) for ≥2 years who required inhaled corticosteroid therapy.
Interventions: Patients were randomized to receive BDP 336 µg/d (4 puffs bid) plus TA placebo (4 puffs bid), TA 800 µg/d (4 puffs bid) plus BDP placebo (4 puffs bid), or TA and BDP placebos (4 puffs of each bid). The only other asthma medication permitted was inhaled albuterol that was used as a rescue medication. All medications were administered via the closed-mouth inhalation technique.
Measurements and results: At 8 weeks and at study end point, both active treatment groups had statistically significant and comparable improvements in FEV1 relative to baseline, and statistically significant increases relative to placebo. At study end point, improvements in forced expiratory flow (FEF25-75%), clinic peak expiratory flow (PEFR), and FVC were statistically significant for the active treatment groups compared with placebo. At end point, the mean difference between BDP and TA for mean change in FEV1 from baseline in the efficacy population was 0.02 and the 95% confidence interval was −0.11, 0.15. Asthma symptoms recorded at clinic visits showed statistically significant improvements for the BDP and TA groups compared with the placebo group. Treatment-related adverse events occurred with similar frequency in all patient groups—25.5% of placebo-treated patients, 22.3% of BDP patients, and 20.4% of TA patients. The incidence of oropharyngeal adverse events, including cough, thrush, and dysphonia, was not statistically different between the two active treatment groups.
Conclusion: In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of adult asthmatics treated with either BDP without a spacer or TA with its built-in tube extender, BDP and TA were comparable in efficacy as measured by FEV1 and other pulmonary function tests, and by improvement in asthma symptoms. Both active treatments were significantly more effective than placebo. All treatment groups were comparable in safety as measured by the incidence of adverse events.