Onset of action of formoterol/budesonide in single inhaler vs. formoterol in patients with COPD

M. Cazzola, P. Santus, F. Di Marco, P. Carlucci, M. Mondoni, M. G. Matera, S. Centanni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Formoterol is a β2-agonist bronchodilator that combines a fast onset of action with a long duration of broncholytic effect. An increasing documentation is showing that the combination of a long acting β2-adrenoceptor agonist bronchodilator and an inhaled corticosteroid targets the airways obstruction in patients with COPD. In this study, we have explored whether the acute addition of an inhaled corticosteroid influences the fast bronchodilator response to formoterol. A total of 20 patients with stable COPD were randomized. Single doses of formoterol/budesonide 2×(4.5/160)μg or formoterol 2×4.5 μg were given via Turbuhaler. Serial measurements of FEV1 were performed over 60 min. Formoterol/budesonide elicited a significantly larger mean FEV 1-AUC0-15min than formoterol alone. Also the change in FEV1 15 min after inhalation of formoterol/budesonide combination (0.197 l; 95% CI: to 0.142-0.252) was greater than that induced by formoterol alone (0.147 l; 95% CI: to 0.092-0.201). The mean increases in FEV1 were always higher after budesonide/formoterol than formoterol alone, although both treatments induced a significant improvement over baseline at each explored time point. Even the FEV1-AUC0-60min after formoterol/budesonide was significantly larger than that after formoterol. Both treatments induced a significant reduction in VAS score but did not modify heart rate in a statistically significant manner. This study indicates that the addition of budesonide influences the fast onset of action of formoterol, but does not induce systemic effects, in patients with stable COPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-125
Number of pages5
JournalPulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Formoterol
  • Formoterol/budesonide combination
  • Onset of action

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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