For treatment of moderate and severe persistent asthma the National Heart Lung Blood Institute (NHLBI) Guidelines offer the alternative of moderately high doses of inhaled corticosteroids alone or a lower dose of inhaled corticosteroids combined with a long-acting bronchodilator. Three classes of drugs qualify for the combination with inhaled corticosteroids. They are long-acting -agonists, leukotriene receptor antagonists, and sustained-release theophylline. Each class of drug has been shown, when combined with inhaled cortico-steroids, to provide equal or better asthma control than a higher dose of inhaled corticosteroids alone. Direct comparisons indicate that, of the three classes, the long-acting -agonists are the most effective. Furthermore, initial concerns regarding their masking airway inflammation appear to be unfounded, because when combined with inhaled corticosteroids, the long-acting -agonists further decrease both the frequency and the severity of asthma exacerbations and appear to have some modulating effect on airway inflammation.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: July 1, 2001
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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.
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