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B2 Agonists and Their Safety in the Treatment of Asthma

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Increasing prevalence and severity of asthma has prompted the development and promulgation of various national and international guidelines for asthma management in adults and children. All of these guidelines agree that short-acting inhaled B2-agonists on demand represent the most appropriate initial bronchodilator therapy. However, there has been considerable debate as to the merit of maintenance bronchodilator therapy with regular inhaled B2-agonists, either the short acting agents, or the newer long-acting inhaled B2-agonist, salmeterol. Of concern is the possibility that there are detrimental effects of chronic B2-agonist bronchodilator treatment. Do these B2-agonists have the potential to worsen asthma control and there by have an adverse impact by contributing to the increased prevalence and severity of asthma? This article will review the pertinent literature with regard to the safety of the B2-agonists, which are appropriate but not perfect medications for asthmatics. It will also put this information in perspective for the clinician and provide this author's recommendations for their use in managing the manifestations of chronic and recurrent asthma.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1995

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 and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    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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