Clinical utility and development of the fluticasone/formoterol combination formulation (Flutiform®) for the treatment of asthma
Ricardo Antonio Tan,1 Jonathan Corren2
1California Allergy and Asthma Medical Group, 2David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Abstract: Pharmacologic treatment of asthma should be done with a stepwise approach recommended in treatment guidelines. If inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) alone are not adequate, ICSs in combination with long-acting β-agonists (LABAs) are now established and widely used as the next step in effective controller therapy. Fixed-dose ICS/LABA combinations in a single device are the preferred form of delivery and improve compliance by enabling patients to get symptom relief from the LABA while receiving the anti-inflammatory benefits of ICSs. Fluticasone propionate/formoterol fumarate is one of the newest fixed-dose combinations. It has been in use in Europe in 2012, but is still under regulatory review in the US. Fluticasone is a synthetic ICS with potent anti-inflammatory effects, while formoterol is a selective β2-adrenergic receptor agonist with a rapid onset of bronchodilation within 5–10 minutes and a 12-hour duration of action. Fluticasone/formoterol has shown superior efficacy when compared to fluticasone or formoterol alone in multiple well-designed studies. The combination has shown comparable or “noninferior” benefits in lung function, clinical symptoms, and asthma control when compared with fluticasone and formoterol administered concurrently in separate inhalers. Fluticasone/formoterol provides similar efficacy with fluticasone/salmeterol, but with more rapid symptom relief. It has been compared directly with budesonide/formoterol with comparable results. Fluticasone/formoterol is well tolerated, with no unusual or increased safety concerns versus each individual component or other available ICS/LABA combinations. Fluticasone/formoterol is the latest entry into a relatively crowded market of branded fixed-dose preparations. Upcoming generic fixed-dose combinations and once-daily agents pose significant market challenges. In clinical practice, most practitioners consider all the currently available fixed-dose preparations to be of comparable efficacy and safety.
Keywords: fixed-dose combination, fluticasone/formoterol, inhaled corticosteroid, long-acting β-agonist
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