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Treatment of the Unusually Difficult Asthmatic Patient

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Various practice parameters have emphasized a step-wise approach to the treatment of asthma utilizing high doses of inhaled corticosteroids, i.e., 2000 g per day for the most difficult-to-manage asthmatic patient, along with maximum bronchodilator therapy. The use of such vigorous therapy presupposes that various triggers that perpetuate asthma have been considered and hopefully eliminated or diminished, such as occupational incitants, gastroesophageal reflux, and concomitant medication such as beta blockers and perhaps difficult-to-recognize allergen stimulation. As new therapies emerge, their role in the treatment of a severe subgroup of the population remains uncategorized and will only be clarified with personal experience and appropriate double-blind studies. For example, there are data to support the concept that salmeterol plus moderate dose aerosol corticosteroids is superior to high dose corticosteroid aerosols. Theoretically, the use of anti-leukotrienes for a patient with aspirin idiosyncrasy may be superior to other combinations as would be conjectured from aspirin challenge data. Lidocaine has recently been employed in severe asthmatics, and preliminary data suggest benefit. The purpose of this review is to summarize some of our knowledge regarding medications that are either steroid-sparing or that might be useful in a subgroup of asthmatic patients with severe asthma.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1997-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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