Combination Therapy Salmeterol/Fluticasone Versus Doubling Dose of Fluticasone in Children With Asthma

COMBO Study Group, Han Hendriks, Quirijn Jöbsis

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For children with symptomatic asthma despite low to moderate doses of inhaled corticosteroids, evidence is still lacking whether to add a long-acting bronchodilator or to increase the dose of inhaled corticosteroids.To evaluate whether salmeterol/fluticasone propionate (SFP), 50/100 ?g twice a day, is noninferior regarding symptom control compared with fluticasone propionate (FP), 200 ?g twice a day Diskus in children with symptomatic asthma.A multicenter, randomized, parallel-group, double-blind study was performed comparing SFP and FP treatment during 26 weeks on asthma control and lung function.A total of 158 children, 6-16 years old, still symptomatic on FP, 100 ?g twice a day, during a 4-week run-in period, were included. Percentage of symptom-free days during the last 10 weeks of the treatment period did not differ between treatment groups (per protocol analysis: adjusted mean difference [FP minus SFP] 2.6%; 95% confidence interval, -8.1 to 13.4). Both groups showed substantial improvements of about 25 percent points in symptom-free days (both P <0.001 from baseline). Lung function measurements (FEV(1), FVC, PEF rate, and maximal expiratory flow) did not differ between groups except for a slight advantage in maximal expiratory flow in the SFP group at 1 week. No differences were found between FP and SFP regarding exacerbation rates, adverse events, or growth.In our study the efficacy on symptom control and lung function of the combination of a long-acting bronchodilator with inhaled corticosteroid is equal to doubling the dose of the inhaled corticosteroid in children still symptomatic on a moderate dose of inhaled corticosteroid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1221-1227
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2010


  • asthma
  • child
  • inhaled corticosteroid
  • long acting beta(2) agonist

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