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Can Fam Physician. 1997 Oct;43:1773-7.

Long-acting beta 2-agonists. Role in primary care asthma treatment.

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  • 1Primary Care Asthma Clinic, Toronto, ON.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the efficacy of long-acting beta 2-agonists and their role in primary care asthma management and to review briefly the pharmacology of these agents.

QUALITY OF EVIDENCE:

Most data presented were derived from randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Studies were selected for relevance to asthma management in primary care.

MAIN FINDINGS:

Long-acting beta 2-agonist use is associated with improvements in both objective and subjective measures of asthma control. At present no evidence suggests that long-acting beta 2-agonists have anti-inflammatory potential. While salmeterol has a longer duration of action than short-acting beta 2-agonists, its onset of action is slower. Salmeterol and formoterol, therefore, should not be used for relief of acute bronchospasm.

CONCLUSION:

Long-acting beta 2-agonists could be useful for treating asthma in primary care, particularly for controlling symptoms of nocturnal asthma and exercise-induced asthma and for providing convenient maintenance therapy for patients who require regular use of short-acting beta 2-agonists despite concomitant use of optimal doses of inhaled anti-inflammatory medication.

PMID:
9356758
PMCID:
PMC2255420
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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