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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 4 (1997), Issue 1, Pages 37-40
Original Article

Salmeterol and Airway Response to Allergen

Donald W Cockcroft, Veronica A Swystun, Rajesh Bhagat, and Sanjay Kalra

Royal University Hospital, Department of Medicine, Division of Respiratory Medicine, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Copyright © 1997 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Regular treatment with inhaled salbutamol (seven to 14 days) increases airway responsiveness to allergen.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of salmeterol 50 µg twice daily for six days on the early asthmatic response to allergen (PC15).

DESIGN: Double-blind, randomized, crossover trial comparing salmeterol with placebo (twice daily over six days) with one week or more washout. Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and allergen PC15 were measured 36 h after each treatment was discontinued.

SETTING: Tertiary care out-patient bronchoprovocation laboratory.

SUBJECTS: Fourteen atopic asthmatics well controlled with (n=5) or without (n=9) inhaled corticosteroids. Subjects did not use inhaled beta-agonists for at least two weeks before and during the trial.

RESULTS: FEV1 was slightly but significantly lower 36 h after the last dose of salmeterol versus placebo (3.28±0.83 versus 3.40±0.88 L, P=0.032). Airway responsiveness to allergen increased by about half a doubling concentration (log10 PC15 2.71±0.61 versus 2.85±0.61, P=0.047).

CONCLUSION: A six-day treatment course of salmeterol 50 μg twice daily resulted in a slight decline in FEV1 and a modest increase in airway response to allergen at 36 h.