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Ann Intern Med. 2006 Nov 7;145(9):692-4.

Safety and effectiveness of long-acting inhaled beta-agonist bronchodilators when taken with inhaled corticosteroids.

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  • 1McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Long-acting beta-agonists are a pillar of therapy for many patients with asthma because they are the preferred add-on therapy to inhaled corticosteroids. However, a recent meta-analysis documented a substantial increase in severe exacerbations requiring hospital admission and life-threatening asthma exacerbations in patients treated with long-acting beta-agonists. A careful evaluation of this meta-analysis raises several concerns about its applicability to current practice. Pivotal trials evaluating the benefit of adding long-acting beta-agonists to inhaled corticosteroids were not included. The authors of the current paper call for physicians to continue their usual practice of using long-acting beta-agonists as adjunctive therapy, as well as for an independent meta-analysis of individual patients using inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists concomitantly.

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