Treatment Options for Initial Maintenance Therapy of Persistent Asthma: A Review of Inhaled Corticosteroids and Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists

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Abstract

Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) are recognized as the cornerstone of asthma therapy. They are considered to be the most effective anti-inflammatory medication currently available for the treatment of persistent asthma, regardless of its severity. Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) are also used as initial maintenance therapy in patients whose asthma is uncontrolled by bronchodilators alone. There are now sufficient data available to allow a comparison of the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of LTRAs and ICSs as initial maintenance therapy. The consensus from the studies reviewed in this article demonstrates that ICSs are more effective than LTRAs as initial maintenance therapy. In particular, studies on fluticasone propionate have shown that it was more effective than LTRAs in clinical outcomes: producing greater improvements in lung function and asthma control; as measured by either forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) or peak expiratory flow (PEF); by a greater reduction in daytime and night-time asthma symptoms; and short-acting β2-agonist use. This superiority was also seen when patients were switched from an LTRA to fluticasone propionate. Similar findings have been demonstrated with beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP), showing that, in adults, this inhaled steroid also had a greater effect on pulmonary function and symptom scores than did LTRAs. Quality of life assessments showed that fluticasone propionate achieved improvements that were deemed to be clinically meaningful; these changes were significantly greater than those achieved with LTRAs. However, questionnaire-based patient preference studies comparing BDP with LTRAs showed that children and adolescents generally preferred an LTRA to BDP. A number of comparative analyses showed that inhaled fluticasone propionate is more cost-effective than either montelukast or zafirlukast; these analyses used cost per symptom-free day and cost per successfully treated patient as outcome measures, from the perspective of a third-party payer. In general, these results were supported by resource utilisation studies in real-world settings. Asthma treatment guidelines (e.g. GINA, 2002) recommend combination therapy with ICSs and a long-acting β2-agonist as initial maintenance therapy if the disease is of sufficient severity. Studies that assessed the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and quality of life achieved with a salmeterol-fluticasone propionate combination as initial maintenance therapy also showed it to be superior to LTRAs. In conclusion, in terms of efficacy and quality of life, fluticasone propionate is more effective than LTRAs as initial maintenance therapy and is associated with significantly lower healthcare costs and less frequent use of healthcare resources than LTRAs. There is also evidence to suggest that initial maintenance therapy with the combination of an inhaled steroid plus a long-acting β-agonist bronchodilator may be a more effective option for the management of persistent asthma than treatment with a single-controller agent alone (ICS or LTRA).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalDrugs
Volume63
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 2003

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Leukotriene Antagonists
Steroid Receptors
Asthma
Beclomethasone
Therapeutics
Adrenal Cortex Hormones
montelukast
Bronchodilator Agents
Quality of Life
Cost effectiveness
Costs and Cost Analysis
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Costs
Steroids
Health Insurance Reimbursement
Lung
Patient Preference
Forced Expiratory Volume
Health Care Costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

@article{f2e60f738dc949469359ab72b44d9aae,
title = "Treatment Options for Initial Maintenance Therapy of Persistent Asthma: A Review of Inhaled Corticosteroids and Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists",
abstract = "Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) are recognized as the cornerstone of asthma therapy. They are considered to be the most effective anti-inflammatory medication currently available for the treatment of persistent asthma, regardless of its severity. Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) are also used as initial maintenance therapy in patients whose asthma is uncontrolled by bronchodilators alone. There are now sufficient data available to allow a comparison of the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of LTRAs and ICSs as initial maintenance therapy. The consensus from the studies reviewed in this article demonstrates that ICSs are more effective than LTRAs as initial maintenance therapy. In particular, studies on fluticasone propionate have shown that it was more effective than LTRAs in clinical outcomes: producing greater improvements in lung function and asthma control; as measured by either forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) or peak expiratory flow (PEF); by a greater reduction in daytime and night-time asthma symptoms; and short-acting β2-agonist use. This superiority was also seen when patients were switched from an LTRA to fluticasone propionate. Similar findings have been demonstrated with beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP), showing that, in adults, this inhaled steroid also had a greater effect on pulmonary function and symptom scores than did LTRAs. Quality of life assessments showed that fluticasone propionate achieved improvements that were deemed to be clinically meaningful; these changes were significantly greater than those achieved with LTRAs. However, questionnaire-based patient preference studies comparing BDP with LTRAs showed that children and adolescents generally preferred an LTRA to BDP. A number of comparative analyses showed that inhaled fluticasone propionate is more cost-effective than either montelukast or zafirlukast; these analyses used cost per symptom-free day and cost per successfully treated patient as outcome measures, from the perspective of a third-party payer. In general, these results were supported by resource utilisation studies in real-world settings. Asthma treatment guidelines (e.g. GINA, 2002) recommend combination therapy with ICSs and a long-acting β2-agonist as initial maintenance therapy if the disease is of sufficient severity. Studies that assessed the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and quality of life achieved with a salmeterol-fluticasone propionate combination as initial maintenance therapy also showed it to be superior to LTRAs. In conclusion, in terms of efficacy and quality of life, fluticasone propionate is more effective than LTRAs as initial maintenance therapy and is associated with significantly lower healthcare costs and less frequent use of healthcare resources than LTRAs. There is also evidence to suggest that initial maintenance therapy with the combination of an inhaled steroid plus a long-acting β-agonist bronchodilator may be a more effective option for the management of persistent asthma than treatment with a single-controller agent alone (ICS or LTRA).",
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T1 - Treatment Options for Initial Maintenance Therapy of Persistent Asthma

T2 - A Review of Inhaled Corticosteroids and Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists

AU - Creticos, Peter Socrates

PY - 2003

Y1 - 2003

N2 - Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) are recognized as the cornerstone of asthma therapy. They are considered to be the most effective anti-inflammatory medication currently available for the treatment of persistent asthma, regardless of its severity. Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) are also used as initial maintenance therapy in patients whose asthma is uncontrolled by bronchodilators alone. There are now sufficient data available to allow a comparison of the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of LTRAs and ICSs as initial maintenance therapy. The consensus from the studies reviewed in this article demonstrates that ICSs are more effective than LTRAs as initial maintenance therapy. In particular, studies on fluticasone propionate have shown that it was more effective than LTRAs in clinical outcomes: producing greater improvements in lung function and asthma control; as measured by either forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) or peak expiratory flow (PEF); by a greater reduction in daytime and night-time asthma symptoms; and short-acting β2-agonist use. This superiority was also seen when patients were switched from an LTRA to fluticasone propionate. Similar findings have been demonstrated with beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP), showing that, in adults, this inhaled steroid also had a greater effect on pulmonary function and symptom scores than did LTRAs. Quality of life assessments showed that fluticasone propionate achieved improvements that were deemed to be clinically meaningful; these changes were significantly greater than those achieved with LTRAs. However, questionnaire-based patient preference studies comparing BDP with LTRAs showed that children and adolescents generally preferred an LTRA to BDP. A number of comparative analyses showed that inhaled fluticasone propionate is more cost-effective than either montelukast or zafirlukast; these analyses used cost per symptom-free day and cost per successfully treated patient as outcome measures, from the perspective of a third-party payer. In general, these results were supported by resource utilisation studies in real-world settings. Asthma treatment guidelines (e.g. GINA, 2002) recommend combination therapy with ICSs and a long-acting β2-agonist as initial maintenance therapy if the disease is of sufficient severity. Studies that assessed the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and quality of life achieved with a salmeterol-fluticasone propionate combination as initial maintenance therapy also showed it to be superior to LTRAs. In conclusion, in terms of efficacy and quality of life, fluticasone propionate is more effective than LTRAs as initial maintenance therapy and is associated with significantly lower healthcare costs and less frequent use of healthcare resources than LTRAs. There is also evidence to suggest that initial maintenance therapy with the combination of an inhaled steroid plus a long-acting β-agonist bronchodilator may be a more effective option for the management of persistent asthma than treatment with a single-controller agent alone (ICS or LTRA).

AB - Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) are recognized as the cornerstone of asthma therapy. They are considered to be the most effective anti-inflammatory medication currently available for the treatment of persistent asthma, regardless of its severity. Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) are also used as initial maintenance therapy in patients whose asthma is uncontrolled by bronchodilators alone. There are now sufficient data available to allow a comparison of the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of LTRAs and ICSs as initial maintenance therapy. The consensus from the studies reviewed in this article demonstrates that ICSs are more effective than LTRAs as initial maintenance therapy. In particular, studies on fluticasone propionate have shown that it was more effective than LTRAs in clinical outcomes: producing greater improvements in lung function and asthma control; as measured by either forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) or peak expiratory flow (PEF); by a greater reduction in daytime and night-time asthma symptoms; and short-acting β2-agonist use. This superiority was also seen when patients were switched from an LTRA to fluticasone propionate. Similar findings have been demonstrated with beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP), showing that, in adults, this inhaled steroid also had a greater effect on pulmonary function and symptom scores than did LTRAs. Quality of life assessments showed that fluticasone propionate achieved improvements that were deemed to be clinically meaningful; these changes were significantly greater than those achieved with LTRAs. However, questionnaire-based patient preference studies comparing BDP with LTRAs showed that children and adolescents generally preferred an LTRA to BDP. A number of comparative analyses showed that inhaled fluticasone propionate is more cost-effective than either montelukast or zafirlukast; these analyses used cost per symptom-free day and cost per successfully treated patient as outcome measures, from the perspective of a third-party payer. In general, these results were supported by resource utilisation studies in real-world settings. Asthma treatment guidelines (e.g. GINA, 2002) recommend combination therapy with ICSs and a long-acting β2-agonist as initial maintenance therapy if the disease is of sufficient severity. Studies that assessed the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and quality of life achieved with a salmeterol-fluticasone propionate combination as initial maintenance therapy also showed it to be superior to LTRAs. In conclusion, in terms of efficacy and quality of life, fluticasone propionate is more effective than LTRAs as initial maintenance therapy and is associated with significantly lower healthcare costs and less frequent use of healthcare resources than LTRAs. There is also evidence to suggest that initial maintenance therapy with the combination of an inhaled steroid plus a long-acting β-agonist bronchodilator may be a more effective option for the management of persistent asthma than treatment with a single-controller agent alone (ICS or LTRA).

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