Background Several guidelines, including the Japanese Pediatric Guideline for the Treatment and Management of Asthma (JPGL), recommend salmeterol/fluticasone combination therapy (SFC) as step 3 to 4 treatment for moderate to severe asthma. However, the optimal step-down approach to SFC remains unclear. In the current study, we examined step-down approaches in asthmatic children whose symptoms had been stabilized by SFC 100/200 μg/day. Methods This randomized, multicenter, open-label, parallel-group study was conducted over 12 weeks. For step-down therapy, subjects aged 5–15 years were randomly assigned to an SFC group (25/50 μg b.i.d.) or an FP group (100 μg b.i.d.), and treated for 12 weeks. Childhood Asthma Control Test (C-ACT) scores, lung function, and exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) levels were monitored. Results Of 131 enrolled subjects, 128 completed the study and were included in the analysis. Decreases in % peak expiratory flow rate and % forced expiratory flow at 50% of vital capacity (V50) were observed in the FP group at each time point. There was a significant difference between the two groups for the change in %V50 from its previous value at each time point. There were no significant changes in FeNO levels (range 15–20 ppb) or C-ACT scores (∼26 points) within or between groups. Conclusions A high level of asthma control was maintained with both approaches. The use of SFC step-down resulted in somewhat better respiratory function, with no worsening of airway inflammation. However, halving the dose of SFC and switching to FP alone are both optimal step-down approaches.
Akashi, K., Mezawa, H., Tabata, Y., Atsuta, J., Tokuda, R., Kawada, Y., … Katsunuma, T. (2016). Optimal step-down approach for pediatric asthma controlled by salmeterol/fluticasone: A randomized, controlled trial (OSCAR study). Allergology International, 65(3), 306–311. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.alit.2016.02.010