Efficacy and safety of the direct switch to indacaterol/glycopyrronium from salmeterol/fluticasone in non-frequently exacerbating COPD patients: The FLASH randomized controlled trial.

01 Dec 2018


Combination long-acting β -agonist/long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LABA/LAMA) has demonstrated superior clinical outcomes over LABA/inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients; however, data from blinded randomized controlled trials on direct switching from LABA/ICS to LABA/LAMA are lacking. FLASH (Assessment of switching salmeterol/Fluticasone to indacateroL/glycopyrronium in A Symptomatic COPD patient coHort) investigated if direct switch, without a washout period, from salmeterol/fluticasone (SFC) to indacaterol/glycopyrronium (IND/GLY) in COPD patients improves lung function and is well tolerated.


In this 12-week, multicentre, double-blind study, patients with moderate-to-severe COPD and up to one exacerbation in previous year, receiving SFC for ≥3 months, were randomized to continue SFC 50/500 μg twice daily (bd) or switch to IND/GLY 110/50 μg once daily (od). Primary endpoint was pre-dose trough forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV ) at Week 12.


In total, 502 patients were randomized (1:1) to IND/GLY or SFC. Patients switched to IND/GLY demonstrated superior lung function (pre-dose trough FEV ) versus SFC at Week 12 (treatment difference (Δ) = 45 mL; P = 0.028). IND/GLY provided significant improvements in pre-dose trough forced vital capacity (FVC; Δ = 102 mL; P = 0.002) and numerical improvements in transition dyspnoea index (TDI; Δ = 0.46; P = 0.063). Rescue medication use and COPD assessment test (CAT) scores were comparable between groups. Both treatments had similar safety profiles.


FLASH demonstrated that a direct switch to IND/GLY from SFC improved pre-dose FEV and FVC in COPD patients with up to one exacerbation in the previous year. No new safety signals were identified.

Resource information

Respiratory conditions
  • COPD
Respiratory topics
  • Treatment - drug
Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Frith PA, Ashmawi S, Krishnamurthy S, Gurgun A, Hristoskova S, Pilipovic V, Hamann AM, Backer A, Olsson P, Kostikas K, Diaz DV, FLASH Investigators.