The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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In Brief: Stopping Long-Acting Beta-2 Agonists

A little more than a year ago, The Medical Letter reported the results of an FDA meta-analysis which found that use of a long-acting beta-2 agonist (LABA) such as salmeterol (Severent) or formoterol (Foradil) in patients with asthma was associated with an increased risk of a composite endpoint of asthma-related death, intubation or hospitalization; the highest risk was in children 4-11 years old.There was no significant increase in risk when a long-acting beta-2 agonist was used with an inhaled corticosteroid.The Medical Letter recommended that long-acting beta-2 agonists should not be used as monotherapy for asthma, especially in children, and that long-acting beta-2 agonists should be used for asthma only in combination with an inhaled corticosteroid, preferably in a fixed-dose combination in the same inhaler.1

Now the FDA has issued new Safe Use Requirements2 and ... more      

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