FROM OUR EXPERTS
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...
While the economy sputters, the long acting bronchodilator/ corticosteroid combination inhaler market is booming. While big pharmaceutical companies fight it out to maintain or gain a piece of this pie, we asthmatics should be the beneficiaries.
New drugs, and new marketing ploys, may soon be available in the U.S. market to compete with Advair and Symbicort, which will provide more options for asthmatics like you and me. Plus, as we all know, more competition means lower costs.
Advair and Symbicort are asthma combination inhalers that have both a long acting bronchodilator (LAB) to treat the airway narrowing (bronchospasm) component of asthma, but also a corticosteroid to treat the chronic inflammation side of asthma.
Advair (called Seritide in Europe), which is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) out of London, became available in the U.S. in 2001, and presently has the lead in this booming market. Adviar consists of the LAB Salmeterol (Serev...
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