Eighty nine adults with asthma who were receiving inhaled corticosteroid and bronchodilator treatment took part in a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial of nedocromil sodium, 4 mg four times daily by inhalation. During a run in period of two to four weeks corticosteroid treatment was reduced when possible to produce a comparable level of symptoms across the trial population. The test treatment was then taken for four weeks, with the severity of asthma recorded daily by patients and assessed at two weekly hospital visits. There was an improvement in symptoms in the patients taking nedocromil sodium by comparison with those having the placebo, the differences being significant for diary card PEF readings, asthma symptom scores, and bronchodilator usage at night. The mean difference between the two groups was 18 l/min for PEF, 0.42 for daytime asthma score, and 1.73 puffs in 24 hours for bronchodilator usage. These results suggest that asthmatic patients who require inhaled steroids show better control of their asthma with the addition of nedocromil sodium than of placebo over a four week period after reduction of the dosage of their inhaled steroids.
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