A randomized, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the role of salmeterol in the in-hospital management of asthma

Jay I. Peters, David C. Shelledy, Arthur P. Jones, Robert W. Lawson, Charles P. Davis, Terry S. LeGrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Study objectives: To assess the safety and efficacy of salmeterol xinafoate as an adjunct to conventional therapy for the in-hospital management of acute asthma. Design: A prospective, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial. Setting: Medical wards of a large university-based hospital. Patients: Forty-three patients admitted for an acute exacerbation of asthma. Interventions: Salmeterol (42 μg) or two puffs of placebo every 12 h in addition to standard therapy (short-acting β-agonists, corticosteroids, and anticholinergic agents). Results: No clinically adverse effects were seen with the addition of salmeterol to conventional therapy. After salmeterol, there was no difference in pulse, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry, severity of symptoms, or dyspnea score. Patients receiving salmeterol had greater FEV1 percent improvements than the placebo group at 12, 24, 36, and 48 h. These findings were not statistically significant. By paired Student's t tests, there were significant improvements in FEV1 (p = 0.03) and FVC (p = 0.03) in the salmeterol group after 48 h of treatment with no comparable improvement in the placebo group. In a subgroup analysis of patients with an initial FEV1 ≤ 1.5 L, the absolute FEV1 percent improvement for salmeterol vs placebo was 51% vs 16% at 24 h and 54% vs 40% at 48 h. The relative FEV1 percent improvement for salmeterol vs placebo was 17% vs 8% at 24 h and 18% vs 14% at 48 h. Conclusion: The addition of salmeterol to conventional therapy is safe and may benefit hospitalized patients with asthma. Further studies are needed to clarify its role in the treatment of acute exacerbation of asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-320
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000



  • Asthma
  • Salmeterol
  • β-agonists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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