FROM OUR EXPERTS
So what's the deal with Advair and Symbicort? These meds have helped so many asthmatics finally gain control of their asthma, yet, with all the recent warnings, the FDA seems to be wary of these meds, and this is scaring people.
Should we be wary and quit taking them? Or, should we continue to use these meds to control asthma? I personally agree with Dr. Matthew Minz that you should fear not. Allow me to explain.
Both Advair and Symbicort contain a Long Acting Beta Adrenergic (LABA) to keep the air passages in your lungs from spasming. In Advair the LABA is Serevent, in Symbicort the LABA is Formoterol.
Some reports say LABAs are linked to worsening asthma and even death, such as this warning about Advair: "University of Iowa researchers have added their voices to growing warnings about Advair, saying that drugs that use salmeterol in combination with an inhaled corticosteroid can make asthma more severe or even f...
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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