A Randomised, Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial in Dementia Patients Continuing or Stopping Neuroleptics (The DART-AD Trial)


Clive Ballard1*, Marisa Margallo Lana2, Megan Theodoulou3, Simon Douglas4, Rupert McShane5, Robin Jacoby3, Katja Kossakowski1, Ly-Mee Yu6, Edmund Juszczak6, on behalf of the Investigators DART AD

1 Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom, 2 Northgate Hospital, Morpeth, Northumberland, United Kingdom, 3 Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, The Warneford Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom, 4 Department of Psychiatry, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, 5 Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health NHS Trust and University of Oxford, Department of Psychiatry, Fulbrook Centre, Oxford, United Kingdom, 6 Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Background

There have been increasing concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of neuroleptics in people with dementia, but there are very few long-term trials to inform clinical practice. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of long-term treatment with neuroleptic agents upon global cognitive decline and neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with Alzheimer disease.

Methods and Findings

Design: Randomised, blinded, placebo-controlled parallel two-group treatment discontinuation trial.

Setting: Oxfordshire, Newcastle and Gateshead, London and Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Participants: Patients currently prescribed the neuroleptics thioridazine, chlorpromazine, haloperidol trifluoperazine or risperidone for behavioural or psychiatric disturbance in dementia for at least 3 mo.

Interventions: Continue neuroleptic treatment for 12 mo or switch to an identical placebo.

Outcome measures: Primary outcome was total Severe Impairment Battery (SIB) score. Neuropsychiatric symptoms were evaluated with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI).

Results: 165 patients were randomised (83 to continue treatment and 82 to placebo, i.e., discontinue treatment), of whom 128 (78%) commenced treatment (64 continue/64 placebo). Of those, 26 were lost to follow-up (13 per arm), resulting in 51 patients per arm analysed for the primary outcome. There was no significant difference between the continue treatment and placebo groups in the estimated mean change in SIB scores between baseline and 6 mo; estimated mean difference in deterioration (favouring placebo) −0.4 (95% confidence interval [CI] −6.4 to 5.5), adjusted for baseline value (p = 0.9). For neuropsychiatric symptoms, there was no significant difference between the continue treatment and placebo groups (n = 56 and 53, respectively) in the estimated mean change in NPI scores between baseline and 6 mo; estimated mean difference in deterioration (favouring continue treatment) −2.4 (95% CI −8.2 to 3.5), adjusted for baseline value (p = 0.4). Both results became more pronounced at 12 mo. There was some evidence to suggest that those patients with initial NPI ≥ 15 benefited on neuropsychiatric symptoms from continuing treatment.

Conclusions

For most patients with AD, withdrawal of neuroleptics had no overall detrimental effect on functional and cognitive status. Neuroleptics may have some value in the maintenance treatment of more severe neuropsychiatric symptoms, but this benefit must be weighed against the side effects of therapy.

Trial registration: Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials/National Research Register (#ISRCTN33368770).

Funding: The DART-AD project was made possible by a grant from The Alzheimer’s Research Trust, Cambridge, UK (http://www.alzheimers-research.org.uk) to Profs Ballard and Jacoby and to RM. The peer review process undertaken by the funder did result in some modifications to the study design. The funder has no other role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: CB has received honoraria from Novartis, Pfizer, Shire, Lundbeck, Myriad, Janssen, Astra Zeneca, and Servier pharmaceutical companies and research grants from Novartis, Lundbeck, Astra-Zeneca, and Janssen pharmaceuticals. The remaining authors have declared that they have no competing interests.

Academic Editor: Carol Brayne, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Citation: Ballard C, Lana MM, Theodoulou M, Douglas S, McShane R, et al. (2008) A Randomised, Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial in Dementia Patients Continuing or Stopping Neuroleptics (The DART-AD Trial) . PLoS Med 5(4): e76 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050076

Received: May 31, 2007; Accepted: February 15, 2008; Published: April 1, 2008

Copyright: © 2008 Ballard et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abbreviations: AD, Alzheimer disease; ANCOVA, analysis of covariance; BADLS, Bristol Activities of Daily Living Scale; CGIC, Clinician’s Global Impression of Change; CI, confidence interval; DMC, data-monitoring committee; EPS, extrapyramidal signs and symptoms; FAS, Verbal Fluency Task; FAST, Functional Assessment Staging; IQR, interquartile range; NPI, Neuropsychiatric Inventory; SD, standard deviation; SIB, Severe Impairment Battery; (S)MMSE, (Standardised) Mini Mental State Examination; STALD, Sheffield Test for Acquired Language Disorders; UPDRS, Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: clive.ballard@kcl.ac.uk

Editors’ Summary

Background

The number of people with dementia (currently 25 million worldwide) is expected to increase by 5 million each year. The risk of dementia, including Alzheimer disease, increases sharply with age: Alzheimer’s Disease International estimates that 1.4% of people 65–69 have dementia, whereas almost a full quarter of those over the age of 85 years are affected. Almost all older dementia patients will experience, along with the cognitive and functional decline typical of the illness, some neuropsychiatric symptoms. These symptoms can include agitation, aggression, and psychosis, and are often devastating for the older patient and his or her family and caregiver. Managing these symptoms is often a prime concern for health-care providers and families. Neuroleptics (sometimes called antipsychotics) are the class of drugs often used to manage or control neuropsychiatric problems, but there have been questions about their safety and appropriateness. Safety concerns involve risk of stroke, parkinsonism, sedation, edema, and chest infections but also include a worsening of cognitive decline with prolonged use of neuroleptics.

Why Was the Study Done?

Previous studies on the effectiveness and safety of neuroleptics in older people have been short term. Ballard and colleagues wanted to study over a longer period of time the impact of neuroleptic drugs on elderly patients with dementia. Specifically, they wanted to know if being on a neuroleptic was associated with more cognitive decline than coming off the drug. They also wanted to investigate whether discontinuing the drug exacerbated any neuropsychiatric symptoms, Parkinson disease-like symptoms, or other functional, language, and cognition difficulties frequently associated with dementia.

What Did the Researchers Do and Find?

The researchers recruited older patients with Alzheimer disease from across England who had been on neuroleptics for at least three months. They randomised patients to one of two groups: the first group continued taking the same neuroleptic at the same dosage level while the second group was switched to an identical-looking placebo. The researchers assessed the patients’ cognitive status and neuropsychiatric symptoms upon their entry into the study. Six and 12 months later the researchers assessed any cognitive decline and the level of neuropsychiatric and other problems that patients were experiencing.

At both 6 and 12 months, the researchers found that there were no differences between the two groups (continued treatment and placebo) in terms of cognitive decline. The placebo group may have had less cognitive decline, but this was not statistically significant. They also found no overall differences between the two groups in the change in the number of neuropsychiatric symptoms over these time periods. Patients with severe neuropsychiatric problems at the outset of the trial did better on continued neuroleptic therapy, but this advantage was not statistically significant. There was a significant decline on the verbal fluency language tests among the patients who continued on their neuroleptic.

What Do these Findings Mean?

The researchers report perhaps the first trial of this duration on continued versus withdrawn neuroleptic treatment among older dementia patients. The findings do not indicate any benefit of continuing neuroleptic therapies in older patients on either cognitive or neuropsychiatric outcomes. The researchers conclude that neuroleptics, with their known safety issues, should not be used as first-line treatment to manage problems such as agitation or aggression. For older dementia patients whose neuropsychiatric symptoms are not remedied by nonpharmaceutical treatments, the researchers advise caution. More studies are urgently needed to find better solutions to help older patients with dementia who have agitation, aggression, and psychosis.

Additional Information

Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050076.

Articulo completo en PLoS

ENHANCE Results Yield Disappointment for Ezetimibe


ENHANCE Results Yield Disappointment for Ezetimibe

from Heartwire — a professional news service of WebMD



Sue Hughes

 

January 14, 2008 (Whitehouse Station/Kenilworth NJ) – The results of the long-awaited and controversial ENHANCE trial, finally announced today, have shown no benefit of the combination of ezetimibe (Zetia, Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals) and simvastatin (sold together as Vytorin, Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals) over simvastatin alone.

The trial, which has been dogged with controversy in recent months, was conducted in 720 patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and showed no significant difference in the primary end point–mean change in the intima media thickness (IMT) measured at three sites in the carotid arteries–between patients treated with ezetimibe/simvastatin 10/80 mg vs patients treated with simvastatin 80 mg alone over a two-year period.

ENHANCE: Primary end point

End point

Ezetimibe plus simvastatin

Simvastatin alone

p

Change in mean carotid IMT after 2-y treatment (mm)

0.0111

0.0058

0.29

At baseline, the mean carotid IMT measurement for the ezetimibe/simvastatin group was 0.68 mm and for the simvastatin-80-mg group was 0.69 mm. There was also no statistically significant difference between the treatment groups for each of the components of the primary end point, including the common carotid artery. Key secondary imaging end points showed no statistical difference between treatment groups.

Huge disappointment

These results will be a huge disappointment to Merck and Schering-Plough. Ezetimibe, which has a complementary action to the statins, preventing the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and generally adding an extra 20% LDL reduction to that seen with statins alone, is a relative newcomer to the cholesterol market but is already generating blockbuster sales, said to be in the region of $5 billion. That is despite the fact there have been no outcome data available on the drug.

The ENHANCE trial is the first major study to be conducted with ezetimibe, which is why the results were so eagerly anticipated. Although it is not a clinical-outcome study, carotid ultrasound studies monitoring the effects of drug therapy on atherosclerotic plaque are seen as reliable surrogates and normally predict whether a drug will be effective in lowering cardiac events. The results were originally expected to be reported about a year ago, and this had led to much speculation in recent months that they were being delayed as they were negative, although this was denied by the companies and the lead investigator. Continue reading ENHANCE Results Yield Disappointment for Ezetimibe

Ezetimibe no ha mostrado efectividad clinica en un ensayo clinico


Fuente: New York Times. MSD y Schering-Plough parece que van a perder mucho dinero vendiendo -enfermedad- ezetimibe.

Al final va la version en castellano, gracias a Martin Cañas 🙂 .

A clinical trial of Zetia, a cholesterol-lowering drug prescribed to about 1 million people a week, failed to show that the drug has any medical benefits, Merck and Schering-Plough said on Monday.
The results will add to the growing concern over Zetia and Vytorin, a drug that combines Zetia with another cholesterol medicine in a single pill. About 70 percent of patients who take Zetia do so in the form of Vytorin, which combines Zetia with the cholesterol drug Zocor.
While Zetia lowers cholesterol by 15 to 20 percent in most patients, no trial has ever shown that it can reduce heart attacks and strokes — or even that it reduces the growth of the fatty plaques in arteries that can cause heart problems.
This trial was designed to show that Zetia could reduce the growth of those plaques. Instead, the plaques actually grew somewhat faster in patients taking Zetia along with Zocor than in those taking Zocor alone. Patients in the trial who took the combination of Zetia and Zocor were receiving it in the form of Vytorin pills.
Dr. Steven Nissen, the chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, said the results were “shocking.” Patients should not be prescribed Zetia unless all other cholesterol drugs have failed, he said.
“This is as bad a result for the drug as anybody could have feared,” Dr. Nissen said. Millions of patients may be taking a drug that has no benefits for them, raising their risk of heart attacks and exposing them to potential side effects, he said.
Both companies’ stocks were down in mid-day trading in New York on Monday, with Merck’s share price off by 2.4 percent and Schering-Plough’s down nearly 6 percent.
The results will also add to the controversy surrounding a long delay in releasing the results of the trial, which was known as Enhance. Merck and Schering-Plough completed the trial in April 2006 and had initially planned to release the findings no later than March 2007. But the companies then missed several self-imposed deadlines, blaming the complexity of the data analysis from the study and saying they did not know when or if the data would be ready for publication.
Last month, after several news articles highlighted the delay, they finally agreed to release the results soon.
For Merck and Schering-Plough, which jointly market Zetia and Vytorin and share profits from the drugs, the trial’s results are a serious setback. Zetia and Vytorin are important contributors to both companies’ profits, especially to Schering, which is smaller and less profitable than Merck.
Analysts estimate that about 70 percent of Schering’s earnings depend on the drugs. The controversy over the trial is also a problem for Merck, which is trying to repair its reputation after withdrawing the painkiller Vioxx from the market in September 2004.
Zetia (Ezetimibe), droga reductora del colesterol, no muestra  beneficio médico alguno en prueba diario El Tiempo/15 de Enero de 2008

Un ensayo clínico demostró que este fármaco no produce en los pacientes los efectos que pregona.  El anuncio, divulgado por The New York Times, fue hecho en Estados Unidos por representantes de los laboratorios Merck y Schering-Plough, quienes comercializan esta molécula bajo los nombres Zetia y Vytorin (en forma combinada).
Aunque Ezetimibe reduce el colesterol entre un 15 y un 20 por ciento, en la mayoría de los pacientes ninguna prueba ha mostrado que reduzca los ataques cardiacos, los accidentes cerebrovasculares o el crecimiento de las placas de colesterol en las arterias, que pueden causar infartos.
La prueba fue diseñada para mostrar que Ezetimibe podía reducir el crecimiento de esas placas. En lugar de eso, las placas crecieron más rápido en pacientes que la tomaban combinada con Simvastatina que en aquellos que tomaban solo Simvastatina.
Steven Nissen, jefe de cardiología de la Clínica de Cleveland, dijo que los resultados eran “chocantes”. Aseguró que a los pacientes no se les puede prescribir este medicamento, a menos que todos los demás hayan fracasado. “Es la peor consecuencia en el análisis de un fármaco; millones de personas pueden estar tomando uno que no tiene ningún beneficio para ellos. Es un gran riesgo para pacientes que necesitan medicarse por sus problemas cardíacos, además de estar expuestos a posibles efectos secundarios”, dijo Nissen a The New York Times. Se estima que en Estados Unidos más de un millón de personas consumen este producto a la semana. En Colombia, Ezetimibe se comercializa con los nombres Zetia y Ezetrol. Combinado con otros medicamentos se encuentra bajo los nombres Vytorin, Zintrepid, Ezator y Vasotenal.
En E. U. estos resultados se suman a la controversia generada por el retraso en la entrega de los resultados de la prueba, conocida como ‘Mejorar’. Merck y Schering-Plough concluyeron en análisis en el 2006 y había planeado dar a conocer las conclusiones en marzo del año pasado. Sin embargo, las empresas fueron ampliando sus plazos excusándose en la complejidad del análisis de los datos.

La prescripción de α-bloqueantes en EEUU se ha reducido tras la publicación del estudio ALLHAT


Stafford RS, Furberg CD, Finkelstein SN, Cockburn IM, Alehegn T, Ma J. Impact of Clinical Trial Results on National Trends in α-Blocker Prescribing, 1996-2002. JAMA 2004; 291: 54-62. R TC PDF

Introducción

No está clara la influencia de los resultados de los trabajos de investigación y de las guías de práctica clínica sobre la prescripción. En la primavera de 2000 se publicaron los resultados preliminares del estudio ALLHAT en el que se informaba que se había tenido que suspender prematuramente la rama del estudio en la que se iniciaba el tratamiento con doxazosina porque se había detectado un aumento de reacciones adversas cuando se comparó con los diuréticos.

Objetivo

Describir la evolución de la prescripción de los α-bloqueantes para valorar el impacto de la publicación de los resultados del estudio ALLHAT y las recomendaciones clínicas sucesivas.

Perfil del estudio

Área del estudio: Tratamiento

Ámbito del estudio: Comunitario

Métodos

Las fuentes de datos fueron las siguientes:

  • Prescripciones: National Prescription Audit Plus (NPA). Incluye una muestra aleatoria de 20.000 farmacias. Los datos de las prescripciones se recogen diariamente y se vuelcan cada mes. Se tomaron los datos sobre el total de prescripciones y, a partir de éstos, se estimó el número de mujeres que estaban tomando THS.
  • Visitas: National Disease and Therapeutic Index (NDTI). Se trata de una base de datos que incluye una muestra representativa de 3.500 médicos que recogen los diagnósticos y los tratamientos de las visitas que realizan. Se recogieron los datos sobre las visitas en las que se había prescrito algún tipo de THS.

Como principales eventos que podrían influenciar la prescripción de doxazosina se consideraron los siguientes:

  • Publicación del artículo en el que se anunciaba la suspensión del estudio ALLHAT por la detección de un aumento de los efectos adversos (marzo de 2000).
  • Publicaciones de guías de práctica clínica, especialmente las recomendaciones del VI Joint National Committee.
  • Precios de los medicamentos.
  • Promoción de los medicamentos. Se analizaron los datos del IMS HEALTH Office Promotion Report (OPR), una base de datos que contiene información de los contactos entre los representantes de la industria y más de 3.800 médicos de todos los EEUU.

Resultados

La figura 1 muestra la evolución de la prescripción de α-bloqueantes entre 1996 y 2002. Desde 1996 hasta la publicación del ALLHAT se observó un aumento en la prescripción de este grupo farmacológico de entre el 5 y 15% en función de la unidad de medida utilizada. A partir de la publicación del estudio, ALLHAT la prescripción se redujo en un 54%. Continue reading La prescripción de α-bloqueantes en EEUU se ha reducido tras la publicación del estudio ALLHAT

Estudio SMART: salmeterol y asma A Comparison of Usual Pharmacotherapy for Asthma or Usual Pharmacotherapy Plus Salmeterol Harold S. Nelson, MD; Scott T. Weiss, MD, MS; Eugene R. Bleecker, MD; Steven W. Yancey, MS; Paul M. Dorinsky, MD; the SMART Study Group * From the National Jewish Medical and Research Center (Dr. Nelson), Denver, CO; Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Dr. Weiss), Boston, MA; Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Dr. Bleecker), Winston Salem, NC; and GlaxoSmithKline (Mr. Yancey and Dr. Dorinsky), Research Triangle Park, NC.More… Correspondence to: Paul M. Dorinsky, MD, GlaxoSmithKline, 5 Moore Dr, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709; e-mail: paul.m.dorinsky@gsk.com Abstract Study objective: To compare the safety of salmeterol xinafoate or placebo added to usual asthma care. Design: A 28-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, observational study. Setting: Study subjects were seen once in the study physician’s office for screening and were provided all blinded study medication for the entire study period. Follow-up by telephone was scheduled every 4 weeks. Participants: Subjects (> 12 years old) with asthma as judged by the study physician were eligible. Individuals with a history of long-acting ß2-agonist use were excluded. Interventions: Salmeterol, 42 µg bid via metered-dose inhaler (MDI), and placebo bid via MDI. Measurements and results: Following an interim analysis in 26,355 subjects, the study was terminated due to findings in African Americans and difficulties in enrollment. The occurrence of the primary outcome, respiratory-related deaths, or life-threatening experiences was low and not significantly different for salmeterol vs placebo (50 vs 36; relative risk [RR] = 1.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.91 to 2.14). There was a small, significant increase in respiratory-related deaths (24 vs 11; RR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.06 to 4.41) and asthma-related deaths (13 vs 3; RR, 4.37; 95% CI, 1.25 to 15.34), and in combined asthma-related deaths or life-threatening experiences (37 vs 22; RR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.01 to 2.89) in subjects receiving salmeterol vs placebo. The imbalance occurred largely in the African-American subpopulation: respiratory-related deaths or life-threatening experiences (20 vs 5; RR, 4.10; 95% CI, 1.54 to 10.90) and combined asthma-related deaths or life-threatening experiences (19 vs 4; RR, 4.92; 95% CI, 1.68 to 14.45) in subjects receiving salmeterol vs placebo. Conclusions: For the primary end point in the total population, there were no significant differences between treatments. There were small, but statistically significant increases in respiratory-related and asthma-related deaths and combined asthma-related deaths or life-threatening experiences in the total population receiving salmeterol. Subgroup analyses suggest the risk may be greater in African Americans compared with Caucasian subjects. Whether this risk is due to factors including but not limited to a physiologic treatment effect, genetic factors, or patient behaviors leading to poor outcomes remains unknown. Estudio SMART: The Salmeterol Multicenter Asthma Research Trial


The Salmeterol Multicenter Asthma Research Trial

A Comparison of Usual Pharmacotherapy for Asthma or Usual Pharmacotherapy Plus Salmeterol

Harold S. Nelson, MD; Scott T. Weiss, MD, MS; Eugene R. Bleecker, MD; Steven W. Yancey, MS; Paul M. Dorinsky, MD; the SMART Study Group

* From the National Jewish Medical and Research Center (Dr. Nelson), Denver, CO; Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Dr. Weiss), Boston, MA; Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Dr. Bleecker), Winston Salem, NC; and GlaxoSmithKline (Mr. Yancey and Dr. Dorinsky), Research Triangle Park, NC. Continue reading Estudio SMART: salmeterol y asma

A Comparison of Usual Pharmacotherapy for Asthma or Usual Pharmacotherapy Plus Salmeterol

Harold S. Nelson, MD; Scott T. Weiss, MD, MS; Eugene R. Bleecker, MD; Steven W. Yancey, MS; Paul M. Dorinsky, MD; the SMART Study Group

* From the National Jewish Medical and Research Center (Dr. Nelson), Denver, CO; Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Dr. Weiss), Boston, MA; Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Dr. Bleecker), Winston Salem, NC; and GlaxoSmithKline (Mr. Yancey and Dr. Dorinsky), Research Triangle Park, NC.More…

Correspondence to: Paul M. Dorinsky, MD, GlaxoSmithKline, 5 Moore Dr, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709; e-mail: paul.m.dorinsky@gsk.com

Abstract

Study objective: To compare the safety of salmeterol xinafoate or placebo added to usual asthma care.

Design: A 28-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, observational study.

Setting: Study subjects were seen once in the study physician’s office for screening and were provided all blinded study medication for the entire study period. Follow-up by telephone was scheduled every 4 weeks.

Participants: Subjects (> 12 years old) with asthma as judged by the study physician were eligible. Individuals with a history of long-acting ß2-agonist use were excluded.

Interventions: Salmeterol, 42 µg bid via metered-dose inhaler (MDI), and placebo bid via MDI.

Measurements and results: Following an interim analysis in 26,355 subjects, the study was terminated due to findings in African Americans and difficulties in enrollment. The occurrence of the primary outcome, respiratory-related deaths, or life-threatening experiences was low and not significantly different for salmeterol vs placebo (50 vs 36; relative risk [RR] = 1.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.91 to 2.14). There was a small, significant increase in respiratory-related deaths (24 vs 11; RR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.06 to 4.41) and asthma-related deaths (13 vs 3; RR, 4.37; 95% CI, 1.25 to 15.34), and in combined asthma-related deaths or life-threatening experiences (37 vs 22; RR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.01 to 2.89) in subjects receiving salmeterol vs placebo. The imbalance occurred largely in the African-American subpopulation: respiratory-related deaths or life-threatening experiences (20 vs 5; RR, 4.10; 95% CI, 1.54 to 10.90) and combined asthma-related deaths or life-threatening experiences (19 vs 4; RR, 4.92; 95% CI, 1.68 to 14.45) in subjects receiving salmeterol vs placebo.

Conclusions: For the primary end point in the total population, there were no significant differences between treatments. There were small, but statistically significant increases in respiratory-related and asthma-related deaths and combined asthma-related deaths or life-threatening experiences in the total population receiving salmeterol. Subgroup analyses suggest the risk may be greater in African Americans compared with Caucasian subjects. Whether this risk is due to factors including but not limited to a physiologic treatment effect, genetic factors, or patient behaviors leading to poor outcomes remains unknown.
Estudio SMART: The Salmeterol Multicenter Asthma Research Trial

Estudio SMART: salmeterol y asma A Comparison of Usual Pharmacotherapy for Asthma or Usual Pharmacotherapy Plus Salmeterol Harold S. Nelson, MD; Scott T. Weiss, MD, MS; Eugene R. Bleecker, MD; Steven W. Yancey, MS; Paul M. Dorinsky, MD; the SMART Study Group * From the National Jewish Medical and Research Center (Dr. Nelson), Denver, CO; Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Dr. Weiss), Boston, MA; Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Dr. Bleecker), Winston Salem, NC; and GlaxoSmithKline (Mr. Yancey and Dr. Dorinsky), Research Triangle Park, NC.More… Correspondence to: Paul M. Dorinsky, MD, GlaxoSmithKline, 5 Moore Dr, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709; e-mail: paul.m.dorinsky@gsk.com Abstract Study objective: To compare the safety of salmeterol xinafoate or placebo added to usual asthma care. Design: A 28-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, observational study. Setting: Study subjects were seen once in the study physician’s office for screening and were provided all blinded study medication for the entire study period. Follow-up by telephone was scheduled every 4 weeks. Participants: Subjects (> 12 years old) with asthma as judged by the study physician were eligible. Individuals with a history of long-acting ß2-agonist use were excluded. Interventions: Salmeterol, 42 µg bid via metered-dose inhaler (MDI), and placebo bid via MDI. Measurements and results: Following an interim analysis in 26,355 subjects, the study was terminated due to findings in African Americans and difficulties in enrollment. The occurrence of the primary outcome, respiratory-related deaths, or life-threatening experiences was low and not significantly different for salmeterol vs placebo (50 vs 36; relative risk [RR] = 1.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.91 to 2.14). There was a small, significant increase in respiratory-related deaths (24 vs 11; RR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.06 to 4.41) and asthma-related deaths (13 vs 3; RR, 4.37; 95% CI, 1.25 to 15.34), and in combined asthma-related deaths or life-threatening experiences (37 vs 22; RR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.01 to 2.89) in subjects receiving salmeterol vs placebo. The imbalance occurred largely in the African-American subpopulation: respiratory-related deaths or life-threatening experiences (20 vs 5; RR, 4.10; 95% CI, 1.54 to 10.90) and combined asthma-related deaths or life-threatening experiences (19 vs 4; RR, 4.92; 95% CI, 1.68 to 14.45) in subjects receiving salmeterol vs placebo. Conclusions: For the primary end point in the total population, there were no significant differences between treatments. There were small, but statistically significant increases in respiratory-related and asthma-related deaths and combined asthma-related deaths or life-threatening experiences in the total population receiving salmeterol. Subgroup analyses suggest the risk may be greater in African Americans compared with Caucasian subjects. Whether this risk is due to factors including but not limited to a physiologic treatment effect, genetic factors, or patient behaviors leading to poor outcomes remains unknown. Estudio SMART: The Salmeterol Multicenter Asthma Research Trial


The Salmeterol Multicenter Asthma Research Trial

A Comparison of Usual Pharmacotherapy for Asthma or Usual Pharmacotherapy Plus Salmeterol

Harold S. Nelson, MD; Scott T. Weiss, MD, MS; Eugene R. Bleecker, MD; Steven W. Yancey, MS; Paul M. Dorinsky, MD; the SMART Study Group

* From the National Jewish Medical and Research Center (Dr. Nelson), Denver, CO; Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Dr. Weiss), Boston, MA; Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Dr. Bleecker), Winston Salem, NC; and GlaxoSmithKline (Mr. Yancey and Dr. Dorinsky), Research Triangle Park, NC. Continue reading Estudio SMART: salmeterol y asma

A Comparison of Usual Pharmacotherapy for Asthma or Usual Pharmacotherapy Plus Salmeterol

Harold S. Nelson, MD; Scott T. Weiss, MD, MS; Eugene R. Bleecker, MD; Steven W. Yancey, MS; Paul M. Dorinsky, MD; the SMART Study Group

* From the National Jewish Medical and Research Center (Dr. Nelson), Denver, CO; Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Dr. Weiss), Boston, MA; Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Dr. Bleecker), Winston Salem, NC; and GlaxoSmithKline (Mr. Yancey and Dr. Dorinsky), Research Triangle Park, NC.More…

Correspondence to: Paul M. Dorinsky, MD, GlaxoSmithKline, 5 Moore Dr, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709; e-mail: paul.m.dorinsky@gsk.com

Abstract

Study objective: To compare the safety of salmeterol xinafoate or placebo added to usual asthma care.

Design: A 28-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, observational study.

Setting: Study subjects were seen once in the study physician’s office for screening and were provided all blinded study medication for the entire study period. Follow-up by telephone was scheduled every 4 weeks.

Participants: Subjects (> 12 years old) with asthma as judged by the study physician were eligible. Individuals with a history of long-acting ß2-agonist use were excluded.

Interventions: Salmeterol, 42 µg bid via metered-dose inhaler (MDI), and placebo bid via MDI.

Measurements and results: Following an interim analysis in 26,355 subjects, the study was terminated due to findings in African Americans and difficulties in enrollment. The occurrence of the primary outcome, respiratory-related deaths, or life-threatening experiences was low and not significantly different for salmeterol vs placebo (50 vs 36; relative risk [RR] = 1.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.91 to 2.14). There was a small, significant increase in respiratory-related deaths (24 vs 11; RR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.06 to 4.41) and asthma-related deaths (13 vs 3; RR, 4.37; 95% CI, 1.25 to 15.34), and in combined asthma-related deaths or life-threatening experiences (37 vs 22; RR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.01 to 2.89) in subjects receiving salmeterol vs placebo. The imbalance occurred largely in the African-American subpopulation: respiratory-related deaths or life-threatening experiences (20 vs 5; RR, 4.10; 95% CI, 1.54 to 10.90) and combined asthma-related deaths or life-threatening experiences (19 vs 4; RR, 4.92; 95% CI, 1.68 to 14.45) in subjects receiving salmeterol vs placebo.

Conclusions: For the primary end point in the total population, there were no significant differences between treatments. There were small, but statistically significant increases in respiratory-related and asthma-related deaths and combined asthma-related deaths or life-threatening experiences in the total population receiving salmeterol. Subgroup analyses suggest the risk may be greater in African Americans compared with Caucasian subjects. Whether this risk is due to factors including but not limited to a physiologic treatment effect, genetic factors, or patient behaviors leading to poor outcomes remains unknown.
Estudio SMART: The Salmeterol Multicenter Asthma Research Trial