Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) listened to presentations and comments from several members of an expert FDA advisory committee regarding the benefit-to-risk ratio of Long Acting Beta-agonist drugs (LABAs) -- namely Serevent (salmeterol) , Foradil (formoterol) , Advair (a combination of fluticasone and salmeterol) and Symbicort (a combination of budesonide and formoterol).
The FDA advisory panel voted, unanimously, that the benefit of Advair and Symbicort outweighed the risks of adverse effects in adults , but that the risks of Serevent and Foradil -- particularly when used without a anti-inflammatory steroid -- outweighed the benefits for asthmatics.
So, what does all of this mean for you?
Continue reading "Advair and Symbicort: "Benefits Outweight the Risk" Says an FDA Advisory Comittee.
Get more information on Advair, Symbicort and Long-Acting Beta Agonists here.
Some of the most effective asthma medicines are inhaled steroids, and the downside to this is that the word "steroid" has a bad reputation. But what many people don't understand is that the steroids that have caused that negative publicity are NOT the kind of steroids that asthma sufferers take. In fact, the steroids that people are fearful of are called anabolic steroids, artificial substances used by some bodybuilders and athletes to build bigger muscles and enhance athletic performance. This type of steroids bears no resemblance to the inhaled steroids you may be taking. Inhaled steroids are actually very similar to natural substances in your own body. Although all medicines can cause side effects, the inhaled steroids used for asthma have proven to be very safe. Most side effects, if they do occur, lessen or even disappear over time. And the benefits greatly outweigh any risks, at any rate. However, other long-term asthma medications that are sometimes...
While it has not yet been approved in the United States, Symbicort may some day be available as a rescue inhaler as well as a preventative medicine. In this sense, it may be the dream inhaler we asthmatics have been yearning for.
In Europe, Australia, and recently Canada , Symbicort has been approved for this purpose. The program is called the SMART program , and you can read about it by clicking here .
According to asthmansw.org , SMART is an acronym for "Symbicort Maintenance And Reliever Therapy." The SMART program is explained here:
"It is a daily asthma management approach that allows you to use a single Symbicort inhaler as both a preventer and a reliever. Currently Symbicort is the only medication available for use as BOTH a maintenance preventer and reliever. SMART works this way as it contains two different types of medicine in the same inhaler - a preventer (Pulmicort [Budesonide]) as the long-acting reliever which helps to c...
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