Seventy-two children (mean age, 10.1 years) with stable moderate asthma who completed a 7-day run-in period were randomized to receive a 4-week treatment with beclomethasone dipropionate (200 micrograms twice daily) administered through two different powder inhalers (Pulvinal; Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A, Parma, Italy and Diskhaler; Glaxo-Wellcome, Evreux, France) in a parallel group design. Sixty-nine patients completed the study. Morning and evening peak expiratory flow values, the use of rescue salbutamol, and the severity of clinical symptoms were recorded daily on a diary card. Pulmonary function tests were performed at baseline and then after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment. Pulmonary function values, daily morning and evening peak expiratory flow, and most of the clinical symptoms significantly improved, although the use of rescue salbutamol significantly decreased from the second week of treatment until the end of the study in both groups. Equivalence of efficacy between groups was demonstrated for both pulmonary function and clinical parameters. We conclude that the Pulvinal inhaler is as efficacious as the Diskhaler in beclomethasone-based therapy of asthmatic children.
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