Initial starting dose of inhaled corticosteroids in adults with asthma: a systematic review

Thorax
Heather Powell, P Gibson

Abstract

Asthma guidelines vary in their recommendations for the initial dose of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) in asthma. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to establish the optimal starting dose of ICS for asthma in adults. Randomised controlled trials comparing two doses of the same ICS in adults with asthma and no concomitant inhaled or oral corticosteroid were assessed. Included trials were analysed according to the following ICS dose comparisons: high (> or =800 microg/day beclomethasone (BDP)) versus moderate (400<800 microg/day BDP) (n = 7); moderate versus low (<400 microg/day BDP) (n = 6); step down versus constant dose (n = 4). Fourteen publications describing 13 trials were included in the review. Studies (n = 4) that compared a step down approach with a constant moderate/low dose of ICS found no difference in lung function, symptoms, or rescue medications between the two treatment approaches (p>0.05). There was no difference in the change in morning peak flow after treatment with high compared with moderate dose ICS. When compared with low dose ICS, moderate dose ICS significantly improved morning peak flow (change from baseline WMD 11.14 l/min, 95% CI 1.34 to 20.93) and nocturnal symptoms (SMD -0.29, 95% CI ...Continue Reading

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