The misuse of asthma drugs
The George Washington University School of Medicine, Director, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Respiratory Services, Washington Hospital Center, 110 Irving St., NW, Washington, DC 20010, USA. .Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine 06/2013; 7(3):307-20. DOI: 10.1586/ers.13.27
There are three major problems with asthma care in the USA and misuse of asthma drug therapy contributes to each. Asthma patients suffer from symptoms regularly partly because healthcare providers do not understand the Expert Panel Report III (EPR3) recommendations on assessing asthma symptoms to determine drug treatment and, consequently, undertreat the disease. Asthma patients experience exacerbations often in part because the EPR3 provides limited guidance on using exacerbation risk to guide asthma treatment, again leading to undertreatment. The EPR3 recommends inhaled corticosteroids as the preferred therapy for mild persistent asthma but American healthcare providers disregard this recommendation based on different perceptions about the risks and benefits of inhaled corticosteroids and choose drug treatments with higher healthcare costs.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Guidelines on asthma management recommend that in patients who still have symptoms on treatment with low-dose inhaled corticosteroids the first step should be an increase in inhaled corticosteroid dose. The addition of long-acting inhaled beta 2-adrenoceptor agonists is another option. We have compared these two strategies in a randomised, double-blind, parallel-group trial. We studied 429 adult asthmatic patients who still had symptoms despite maintenance treatment with 200 micrograms twice daily inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP). 3 did not provide verifiable data. Of the others, 220 were assigned salmeterol xinafoate (50 micrograms twice daily) plus BDP and 206 were assigned higher-dose BDP (500 micrograms twice daily) for 6 months. The mean morning peak expiratory flow increased from baseline in both groups, but the increase was greater in the salmeterol/BDP group than in the higher-dose BDP group at all time points (differences 16-21 L/min, p < 0.05). Mean evening PEF also increased with salmeterol/BDP but not with higher-dose BDP. There were significant differences in favour of salmeterol/BDP in diurnal variation of PEF (all time points) and in use of rescue bronchodilator (salbutamol) and daytime and night-time symptoms (some time points). There was no significant difference between the groups in adverse effects or exacerbations of asthma, indicating that in this group of patients regular beta 2-agonist therapy was not associated with any risk of deteriorating asthma control over 6 months. This study suggests a need for a flexible approach to asthma management.The Lancet 08/1994; 344(8917):219-24. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(94)92996-3 · 45.22 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The effect of prolonged inhaled corticosteroid treatment on bronchial immunopathology was assessed in 25 nonsmoking mildly asthmatic subjects previously receiving intermittent inhaled beta 2-agonist alone. Inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP), 500 micrograms twice per day or placebo was administered for 4 mo in a double-blind parallel group study. Histamine bronchial provocation, fiberoptic bronchoscopic biopsy, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) were performed before and after treatment. There was no difference in bronchial responsiveness or lung function between groups. In patients treated with BDP compared with placebo, there was a significant reduction in toluidine blue-staining mast cells (p = 0.028) and total (p = 0.005) and activated eosinophils (p = 0.05) in biopsies but no difference in eosinophils or eosinophil cationic protein in BAL. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor expression was significantly reduced in the bronchial epithelium, and the thickness of Type III collagen deposition in the bronchial lamina reticularis reduced from 29.7 +/- 4.4 to 19.8 +/- 3.4 microns (mean +/- 95% confidence interval) (p = 0.04). No change in helper or activated helper T cells occurred. Prolonged BDP treatment reduces inflammatory infiltration, proinflammatory cytokine expression, and subepithelial collagen deposition, a recognized abnormality in asthma.American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 08/1994; 150(1):17-22. DOI:10.1164/ajrccm.150.1.8025745 · 13.00 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: According to international guidelines, the level and adjustment of antiinflammatory treatment for asthma are based solely on symptoms and lung function. We investigated whether a treatment strategy aimed at reducing airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR strategy) in addition to the recommendations in the existing guidelines (reference strategy) led to: (1) more effective control of asthma; and (2) greater improvement of chronic airways inflammation. To accomplish this, we conducted a randomized, prospective, parallel trial involving 75 adults with mild to moderate asthma who visited a clinic every 3 mo for 2 yr. At each visit, FEV1 and AHR to methacholine were assessed, and subjects kept diaries of symptoms, beta2-agonist use, and peak expiratory flow (PEF). Medication with corticosteroids (four levels) was adjusted according to a stepwise approach (reference strategy), to which four severity classes of AHR were added (AHR strategy). At entry and after 2 yr, bronchial biopsies were obtained by fiberoptic bronchoscopy. Patients treated according to the AHR strategy had a 1.8-fold lower rate of mild exacerbations than did patients in the reference strategy group (0. 23 and 0.43 exacerbation/yr/patient, respectively). FEV1 also improved to a significantly greater extent in the AHR strategy group (p </= 0.05). In bronchial biopsies this was accompanied by a greater reduction in thickness of the subepithelial reticular layer in the AHR strategy group than in the reference strategy group (mean difference [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.7 micrometers (0.2 to 3.1) micrometers]). The changes in AHR in both strategy groups were correlated with eosinophil counts in the biopsies (r = -0.48, p = 0.003). We conclude that reducing AHR in conjunction with optimizing symptoms and lung function leads to more effective control of asthma while alleviating chronic airways inflammation. This implies a role for the monitoring of AHR or other surrogate markers of inflammation in the long-term management of asthma.American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 04/1999; 159(4 Pt 1):1043-51. · 13.00 Impact Factor
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.