Combined asthma medication therapy shown to reduce attacks

A Henry Ford Hospital study has found that using two types of common asthma medications in combination reduces severe asthma attacks.

Researchers say using long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs) in fixed-dose combination with (ICS) appear to reduce asthma attacks as well as or better than corticosteroids alone. who had in greatest benefits were:

  • Patients 18 and older
  • African-American patients
  • Patients with moderate to severe asthma
The study is believed to be the first to estimate actual patient use when assessing the effectiveness of these medications in reducing severe asthma attacks. Researchers analyzed data of 1,828 who received an ICS/LABA combination or an ICS alone between January 2003 and December 2010.

The findings are published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Researchers say the findings are a key development in asthma treatment involving LABAs as a potential therapy. The safety of LABAs by themselves as a therapy were called into question after a high number of deaths and serious asthma attacks were reported in the Salmeterol Multicenter Asthma Research Trial, forcing it to be abruptly stopped in 2003. In this study, African-American patients, in particular, fared worse than using a LABA inhaler as compared to placebo.

As a result, the U.S. suggested limiting the use of LABAs to patients already taking an asthma controller such as an inhaled corticosteroid. A series of clinical trials are under way investigating the benefits of LABA in combination with ICS treatment, and results are not expected until 2017.

"Until those trials are completed, our study provides important interim evidence that a fixed-dose combination therapy can reduce ," says Karen Wells, MPH, a Henry Ford researcher and the study's lead author.

Added Keoki Williams, M.D., MPH, associate director of Henry Ford's Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research: "We are especially encouraged by the benefits experienced by African-American patients. Our findings suggest that inhaled long-acting beta-agonists are broadly beneficial for treating asthma when they are simultaneously administered with an inhaled corticosteroid."

More than 20 million Americans, or approximately 1 in 15, suffer from asthma, which accounts for nearly 500,000 hospitalizations in the United States annually, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

More information: http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749%2811%2902943-5/abstract

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study: Getting patients to take their asthma meds

Jun 15, 2010

Armed with the right information, physicians can play a stronger role in ensuring asthma patients don't waver in taking drugs proven to prevent asthma attacks, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Recommended for you

Obama addresses West Africans on facts about Ebola

6 hours ago

President Barack Obama urged West Africans on Tuesday to wear gloves and masks when caring for Ebola patients or burying anyone who died of the disease. He also discouraged the traditional burial practice ...

Gluten-free diet benefits asymptomatic EmA+ adults

6 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Asymptomatic individuals with endomysial antibodies (EmA) benefit from a gluten-free diet (GFD), according to a study published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

Another US health worker infected with Ebola

7 hours ago

A third American health worker has tested positive for the Ebola virus while working with patients in West Africa, the Christian missionary group SIM said Tuesday.

UN implores all countries to help on Ebola

9 hours ago

The international group Doctor Without Borders warned Tuesday that the world is 'losing the battle' against Ebola, while U.N. officials implored all countries to quickly step up their response by contributing health experts ...

Travel restrictions could worsen Ebola crisis: experts

13 hours ago

Travel restrictions could worsen West Africa's Ebola epidemic, limiting medical and food supplies and keeping out much-needed doctors, virologists said Tuesday as the disease continued its deadly spread.

User comments