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Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of levalbuterol in 2-5-year-old patients with asthma.

Author(s): Skoner DP, Greos LS, Kim KT, Roach JM, Parsey M, Baumgartner RA

Affiliation(s): Allegheny General Hospital, Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Publication date & source: 2005-12, Pediatr Pulmonol., 40(6):477-86.

Publication type: Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of single-isomer (R)-albuterol (levalbuterol, LEV) in children aged 2-5 years. Children aged 2-5 years (n = 211) participated in this multicenter, randomized, double-blind study of 21 days of t.i.d. LEV (0.31 mg or 0.63 mg without regard to weight), racemic albuterol (RAC, 1.25 mg for children <33 pounds (lb); 2.5 mg for children >/=33 lb), or placebo (PBO). Endpoints included adverse-event (AE) reporting, safety parameters, peak expiratory flow (PEF), the Pediatric Asthma Questionnaire(c) (PAQ), and the Pediatric Asthma Caregiver's Quality of Life Questionnaire (PACQLQ). Baseline disease severity was generally mild in all groups, as defined by PAQ scores that ranged from 6.3-7.3 on a scale of 0-27 and 1.5 days/week of uncontrolled asthma. After treatment, the PAQ decreased in all groups (P = NS). In the subset of subjects able to perform PEF (51.7%), all active treatments improved in-clinic PEF after the first dose (mean +/- SD: PBO, 1.4 +/- 20.8; LEV 0.31 mg, 12.4 +/- 12; LEV 0.63 mg, 16.7 +/- 15.4; RAC, 18.0 +/- 16.5 l/min; P < 0.01). PACQLQ measurements improved more than the minimally important difference only in the LEV-treated groups, and were significant in children <33 lb (P < 0.05). Asthma exacerbations occurred primarily in children >/=33 lb, and one serious asthma exacerbation occurred in the 2.5-mg RAC group. RAC and LEV 0.63 mg, but not LEV 0.31 mg or placebo, led to significant increases in ventricular heart rate. In this study of levalbuterol in children aged 2-5 years with asthma, LEV was generally well-tolerated, and in children able to perform PEF, led to significant bronchodilation compared with placebo. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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