Fonnoterol bas Iong-tenn benefits The 'largest ami most comprehensive' study of
formoterol to date has found 'no evidence of dampened responses to the drug' but rather a trend towards continued clinical improvement, even after a year of maintenance therapy I
In patients who changed from salbutamol to formoterol, flow rates and asthma symptoms significantly improved, and this improvement was maintained over the subsequent 6 months of the study. There was no evidence of development of tolerance to formoterol.
The study involved 119 patients with asthma, who had all been previously enrolled in a 3-month study comparing formoterol with salbutamol.
Commenting on the study, Dr Richard Weber of the University of Michigan Medical Center said the study suggested that the new long-acting p-agonists, which include formoterol and salmeterol, are 'at least as safe' as other available agonists2 The study does not support the fears that the agents' sustained duration of action made them more susceptible to the development of tolerance.
Dr Weber also observed that the continued improvement with formoterol, observed even after 12 months in some patients, suggests that the agent may have benefits in asthma apart from bronchodilation. However, he concluded, whether the agents should be used as maintenance therapy or only for symptomatic relief 'is presently not fully answerable'. 1. Kesten S. el aI. Suslainc:d improvement in asthma with long-tcnn use of forrnoterol fumarate. Annals of Allergy 69: 415-420. Nov 1992 2. Weber RW. Role of long-acting beta2 agonists in asthma. Annals of Allergy 69: 381-384. Nov 1992 Il0017219'
9 Jan 1993 INPHARMA'" ISSN 0156-270319310109-00161$1.cxf' Adl81ntematlon81 Ltd
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