Complementary therapy in asthma: inhaled corticosteroids and what?Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2009 Jan; 15(1):46-51.CO
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
For optimal asthma control, complementary strategies are advocated to cover several aspects of the disease. This mini-review highlights different complementary strategies with special focus on the combined use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) and long-acting beta2 agonists and as an alternative, the combination of ICSs and antileukotrienes.
New data show that combinations of ICSs/long-acting beta2 agonists or ICSs with antileukotrienes improve disease stability with concomitant control of the underlying airway inflammation. Moreover, there is some evidence that combination therapy may prevent some aspects of airway remodelling. The use of a fixed combination of both a reliever and a controller medication may have certain advantages compared with a fixed dose regime with as-needed separate reliever therapy. Alternatively, in some asthma phenotypes, such as combined allergic rhinitis and asthma syndrome, the combination of ICSs with antileukotrienes offers a complementary anti-inflammatory treatment in combination with controller effects on both airway compartments.
This review compares different strategies of complementary therapy in asthma with special focus on how to achieve the best clinical control also aimed at controlling the underlying airway inflammation. We have chosen to focus on two major topics: the use of ICSs and long-acting beta2 agonists in two different strategies, that is, a symptom-driven versus a fixed symptom-preventive approach; and the use of ICSs with a long-acting beta2 agonist versus ICSs and a leukotriene receptor antagonist. What regime should be chosen is highly dependent on the individual phenotype and defined treatment goal.