Background: Inhalation of a single dose of the long-acting β2- adrenoceptor agonist salmeterol protects against methacholine-induced airway obstruction and other bronchoconstricting stimuli for at least 12 hours. Hypothetically, twice daily dosing of salmeterol may result in continuous protection. Objective: this study was designed to investigate the protective effect of a single dose of salmeterol and of continuous twice daily treatment on airway responsiveness to methacholine. Methods: In a double-blind, parallel study, salmeterol 50 μg twice daily was compared with salbutamol 200 μg twice daily. Thirty children with mild asthma, who had little or no bronchial obstruction and were hyperresponsive to methacholine (PD20 ≤ 150 μg) were allocated to receive either salmeterol or salbutamol. Airway responsiveness was measured before study entry, 12 hours after a single dose of drug was given, and monthly during 4 months of daily treatment. Measurements were always performed at the same time of the day, 12 hours after the last dose of medication was administered. Results: No significant differences in FEV1 were found between treatments at any time point. PD20 significantly increased after the first dose of salmeterol was given (geometric mean, 100 μg). Geometric mean PD20 values were significantly better during salmeterol treatment than during salbutamol treatment, 52 and 25 μg, respectively (p = 0.005). Conclusion: The protection provided by salmeterol during maintenance treatment was less than that provided after the first dose (p < 0.001). However, protection did not diminish during the 4- month treatment period and remained significant compared with baseline (p = 0.003).

, , , ,,
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Verberne, A. A. P., Hop, W., Creyghton, F. B. M., van Rooij, R. W. G., van den Berg, M., de Jongste, J., & Kerrebijn, K. F. (1996). Airway responsiveness after a single dose of salmeterol and during four months of treatment in children with asthma. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 97(4), 938–946. doi:10.1016/S0091-6749(96)80068-6