Immunotherapy vs inhaled budesonide in bronchial asthma: an open, parallel, comparative trial


Dr W. A. Shaikh, Allergy and Asthma Clinic, Shakti Sadan Co-op. Housing Society, Ground floor, B Block, Opp. Navjeevan Society, Off Lamington Road, Bombay — 400 007, India.


Background Budesonide, an inhaled corticosteroid and specific immunotherapy, are both routinely used in the treatment of bronchial asthma. However, there are as yet, no studies comparing the effects of budesonide vs immunotherapy.

Objective The aim of this study is to compare the effects of budesonide with immunotherapy in patients having perennial asthma.

Methods This study is an open, parallel, comparative trial, in which 51 young patients were administered either immunotherapy or budesonide for 1 year and their global symptom scores and FEV1, values assessed. Both treatments were abruptly discontinued after 12 months and the effects of cessation analysed.

Results The use of budesonide resulted in a faster and more striking improvement during the first few months as compared to immunotherapy, with an even more rapid decline in benefits on cessation of budesonide. Immunotherapy on the other hand, resulted in slow but steady improvement which did not decline as rapidly as budesonide on cessation.

Conclusion Although this was an open trial, it could be concluded that relief with inhaled corticosteroids in bronchial asthma is more rapid than immunotherapy; however the decline in benefit on cessation of inhaled cortieosteroid is even more rapid, a phenomenon not seen with immunotherapy.