Seretide (fluticasone + salmeterol - Allen & Hanburys) and Symbicort (budesonide + formoterol - AstraZeneca) inhalers have recently been licensed in the UK for the symptomatic treatment of patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and a history of repeated exacerbations.1–3 Advertising for Seretide depicts a man and states that the drug "has improved his ability to breathe and reduced his risk of exacerbations", while promotional claims for Symbicort include benefits in "reducing symptoms" and "improving quality of life". Here we assess the place of these fixed-dose combination inhalers containing a corticosteroid and a long-acting beta2 agonist in the management of patients with COPD.
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