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Budesonide-formoterol for maintenance and as needed reliever treatment reduced asthma exacerbations

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Q In patients with asthma receiving budesonide-formoterol (B-F) for maintenance treatment, how does B-F as needed reliever treatment compare with as needed formoterol and as needed terbutaline for reducing exacerbations?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ Paediatrics ★★★★★★☆ Respirology ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageDesign:

randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

blinded (patients and healthcare providers).*

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

12 months.

Embedded ImageSetting:

289 centres in 20 countries.

Embedded ImagePatients:

3394 patients ⩾12 years of age (mean age 42 y, 60% women) who had >1 severe asthma exacerbation in the past 12 months, had used inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) for ⩾3 months, and had an FEV1 of 50–100% of predicted normal with ⩾12% reversibility after inhalation of terbutaline, 1 mg. Exclusion criteria included respiratory infection affecting asthma and use of oral corticosteroids within 1 month of study …

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  • * See glossary.

  • For correspondence: Professor K F Rabe Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands. K.F.Rabe{at}

  • Source of funding: AstraZeneca.