The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Budesonide/Formoterol (Symbicort) for Asthma

A combination of the corticosteroid budesonide and the long-acting beta2-agonist formoterol (Symbicort – AstraZeneca) has become available in a metered dose inhaler for long-term maintenance treatment of asthma in patients ≥12 years old. A combination product that contains fluticasone propionate and salmeterol (Advair) is already available for this indication in the US. Neither one of these combinations is approved for acute treatment of asthma symptoms. A dry powder inhaler formulation of Symbicort has been available in Europe and Canada for several years.

STANDARD TREATMENT — In patients with persistent asthma, regular use of an inhaled corticosteroid is recommended (in addition to as-needed use of an inhaled short-acting beta2-agonist for acute exacerbations). When an inhaled corticosteroid alone does not prevent symptoms, addition of an inhaled ... more      

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