Efficacy and Safety of As-Needed Budesonide-Formoterol in Adolescents with Mild Asthma Conferences uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Medication adherence is challenging for adolescents. In mild asthma, as-needed budesonide-formoterol (BUD-FORM) reduces severe exacerbations compared with as-needed short-acting beta2-agonists, similar to the reduction with maintenance budesonide. OBJECTIVE: This post hoc pooled analysis of Symbicort Given as-needed in Mild Asthma (SYGMA) 1 and 2 assessed the efficacy and safety of as-needed BUD-FORM in adolescents. METHODS: SYGMA 1 and 2 were 52-week, double-blind studies (NCT022149199; NCT02224157) in patients 12 years or older with mild asthma. Patients were randomized to twice-daily placebo + as-needed BUD-FORM 200/6 μg, twice-daily BUD 200 μg + as-needed terbutaline (BUD maintenance), or twice-daily placebo + as-needed terbutaline 0.5 mg (SYGMA 1 only). Annualized severe exacerbation rates, maintenance treatment adherence, and safety (including change in height) were compared between treatment groups in adolescents (aged ≥12 to <18 years). RESULTS: Severe exacerbation rate was similar with as-needed BUD-FORM and BUD maintenance (pooled analysis: 0.08 vs 0.07/y; P = .634), and was significantly lower with as-needed BUD-FORM versus as-needed terbutaline (SYGMA 1: 0.04 vs 0.17/y; P = .005). Median adherence was 73% in SYGMA 1 and 51% in SYGMA 2. Change in height from baseline in adolescents aged ≥12 years to <14 years was significantly greater with as-needed BUD-FORM (4.8 cm) versus BUD maintenance (3.9 cm) (pooled: P < .046), and was similar between as-needed BUD-FORM (4.5 cm) and as-needed terbutaline (4.1 cm) (SYGMA 1: P = .500). No new or unexpected safety concerns were identified. CONCLUSIONS: In adolescents with mild asthma, as-needed BUD-FORM was superior to as-needed terbutaline for severe exacerbation reduction, with similar efficacy to BUD maintenance. As-needed BUD-FORM provides an alternative treatment option for adolescents with mild asthma, without needing daily treatment.


  • O'Byrne, Paul
  • Reddel, Helen K
  • O’Byrne, Paul M
  • FitzGerald, J Mark
  • Barnes, Peter J
  • Zheng, Jinping
  • Ivanov, Stefan
  • Lamarca, Rosa
  • Puu, Margareta
  • Alagappan, Vijay KT
  • Bateman, Eric D

publication date

  • August 2021