Medical and Clinical Research: Open Access

Open Access


Budesonide-Formoterol as Needed for The Treatment of Mild Persistent Asthma

Emily B. Walsh, Alicia B. Forinash, Rebecca L. Stauffer, Abigail Yancey, Erica F. Crannage, Kristin Mahan, Suzanne G. Bollmeier.

Objective: To summarize literature assessing the safety and efficacy of budesonide/formoterol, a low dose inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) and long-acting beta agonist (LABA) used as needed for the treatment of adult patients with mild persistent asthma requiring step 2 therapy compared to low dose inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) plus short-acting beta agonist (SABA) and SABA monotherapy. Data Sources: A literature search of PubMed (1966-October 2020), EMBASE (1973-October 2020) and was conducted using the following search terms: budesonide, formoterol, as needed, and mild asthma. Study selection and data extraction: Randomized, controlled trials with data describing as needed use of budesonide-formoterol in the treatment of mild, persistent asthma were included. Data synthesis: Current trials demonstrate a reduced risk of exacerbation and an improvement in symptom control in patients receiving budesonide/formoterol as needed when compared to as needed SABA alone. However, when compared to scheduled budesonide maintenance, patients receiving budesonide/formoterol as needed experienced worse symptom control and mixed exacerbation results. Relevance to patient care and clinical practice: This review evaluates the efficacy and safety of budesonide/formoterol as needed for patients with mild asthma. The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), a global strategy for asthma management and prevention adopted this change in 2019, and the most recent updated Expert Panel Report 4 of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) did not address this area. Conclusions: Based on this review of the literature, further study is needed to determine the place in therapy for budesonide/formoterol as needed in the treatment of mild persistent asthma. Low-dose ICS should remain the standard of therapy in patients with mild asthma requiring Step 2 therapy.

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