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Saturday 20, Feb 2010

  Steroids, asthma, and LABA medicines share a bond

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Steroids, asthma, and LABA medicines share a bondAccording to a review of studies, severe asthma attacks can be better prevented with a combination of airway opening drug and inhaled steroids having inflammation-minimizing characteristics rather than a normal steroid dose.

The study suggested that higher doses of steroids can prove to be an effective part as part of a combination therapy for preventing the occurrence of asthma attacks.

There is a tendency of starting combination therapy with LABAs (long acting beta-2 agonists) and inhaled corticosteroids among practitioners at an early stage, as per Jerry Krishnan, M.D., an asthma researcher and assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Friday 19, Feb 2010

  High risk young asthmatics can benefit from inhaled corticosteroids

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High risk young asthmatics can benefit from inhaled corticosteroids  According to results from the Childhood Asthma Research and Education (CARE) Network supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), breathing problems in pre-school-aged children at high risk for asthma can be reduced to a considerable extent when inhaled corticosteroids are used on a daily basis.

It was also noted that corticosteroids are not effective for preventing the development of persistent asthma in these children.

The PEAK study results support extending the use of inhaled corticosteroids to pre-school children at high risk for asthma.

Wednesday 17, Feb 2010

  Oral controllers better than corticosteroids for asthma management

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Oral controllers better than corticosteroids for asthma managementAsthma patients in general experience improved clinical outcomes with oral controllers than inhaled corticosteroids. This finding appeared in Mayo Clinic Proceedings that were published in a peer-reviewed comparative effectiveness study performed by HealthCore, Inc. in its August edition.

Dr. Joseph Singer, vice president of clinical affairs for HealthCore, the outcomes research subsidiary for WellPoint, said that the study was requested to ensure that WellPoint’s National Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee’s drug formulary for asthma therapies was aligned with their real-world use and outcomes.

Lead authors of the HealthCore study were HealthCore researchers Hiangkiat Tan, Chaitanya Sarawate and Dr. Joseph Singer. Other authors included Dr. Kurt Elward, Dr. Rubin Cohen, Dr. Brian Smart, Dr. Michael Busk, Dr. James Lustig, Dr. Jeana O’Brien, and Dr. Michael Schatz.

Tuesday 16, Feb 2010

  Inhaled corticosteroids provide more benefits than cromolyn for asthma patients

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Inhaled corticosteroids provide more benefits than cromolyn for asthma patientsA review of studies that were aimed at making comparisons between two asthma treatment options: inhaled corticosteroids and cromolyn has found that asthmatic patients, both adults and children, can exercise a better control and breathe deeper while being on corticosteroids.

James Guevara, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and colleagues found out that patients administered with corticosteroids make lesser use of life-saving “inhalers” than their counterparts on cromolyn and even scored better on lung function tests.

Guevara and colleagues noted that the benefits and superiority of inhaled corticosteroids are more than that of cromolyn, irrespective of the severity level of asthma. It was also noted that the results were so decisive that there is absolutely no further need to warrant any more studies to make similar comparisons.

Thursday 11, Feb 2010

  Sodium cromoglycate is not superior to inhaled corticosteroids for asthma management

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Sodium cromoglycate is not superior to inhaled corticosteroids for asthma managementAccording to a recent study, inhaled corticosteroids are better than sodium cromoglycate when it comes to improving lung function and managing asthma in an effective manner.

Dr James Guevara, Department of Pediatrics at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine in Philadelphia and lead review author of this study, said that the superiority of corticosteroids tend to improve with moderately low doses when compared with low doses.

The study finding is expected to bring back a smile on the faces of around one million people suffering from asthma in the United States alone.

Monday 25, Jan 2010

  Corticosteroids ease symptoms of asthma

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Corticosteroids ease symptoms of asthmaAccording to a review of studies comparing inhaled corticosteroids and cromolyn, it was noted that adults and children suffering from asthma and using inhaled corticosteroids fared better than those using cromolyn.

James Guevara, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and colleagues, said that patients on steroids had on average three fewer severe asthma flare-ups each year, scored better on lung function tests, and make lesser use of inhalers than their counterparts on cromolyn.

William Storms, M.D., an allergist at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and director of the William Storms Allergy Clinic in Colorado Springs, said that the consensus still provides room for cromolyn treatment.

Monday 25, Jan 2010

  COPD mortality risk minimized by corticosteroids

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COPD mortality risk minimized by corticosteroidsAccording to a new study that was published in an issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients using inhaled corticosteroids are likely to have a considerably reduced mortality risk.

It was revealed by the researchers that patients receiving inhaled corticosteroids within a period of 30 days of hospital discharge had a 25 percent reduced all-cause mortality rate. It was also noted that patients using steroids paired with beta-agonists saw a fall in cardiovascular-related deaths by 38 percent.

Author Christine Macie, MD, FCCP, Cambridge Hospital, Ontario, Canada, said that COPD is an underrated lung ailment that has associated lung disease.

Sunday 24, Jan 2010

  Severity of asthma attacks minimized by inhaled corticosteroids

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Severity of asthma attacks minimized by inhaled corticosteroidsIn the largest study of its kind on preschoolers, it was noted that high doses of inhaled corticosteroids are effective for minimizing the severity and duration of asthma attacks triggered by colds

The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and led by Dr. Francine Ducharme, assistant director of clinical research at the Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center and a pediatrics professor at the Université de Montréal.

The involved researchers still need to confirm if children can make up for slight growth retardation as the average growth rate of the untreated children was about 6.5 cm as opposed to 6.0 cm in the children treated with fluticasone, the corticosteroid.

Monday 18, Jan 2010

  Recommendations for inhaled corticosteroids must be exercised after great caution

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Recommendations for inhaled corticosteroids must be exercised after great cautionAfter an evidence was found suggesting that some of the presently-used anti-inflammatory medications increase the risk of pneumonia by a full third, Lung disease experts at Johns Hopkins made a call for caution while recommendations are made by doctors while prescribing inhaled corticosteroids to people with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

COPD is believed to affect more than 11 million Americans on a yearly basis and most of this affected population belongs to the category of present or former smokers.

Pulmonologist M. Brad Drummond, M.D., M.H.S., who led the study, remarked that findings of this study are expected to provide a reminder to patients with severe lung disease to plan and take steps for reducing the risk of pneumonia, which doubles their risk of dying.

Tuesday 12, Jan 2010

  Greater caution recommended for prescribing inhaled corticosteroids

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Greater caution recommended for prescribing inhaled corticosteroidsA call for greater caution for prescribing inhaled corticosteroids to people with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) was made by Lung disease experts at Johns Hopkins. The call was made after evidence suggested that some of the most widely-used anti-inflammatory medications may increase the risk of pneumonia by a full third.

It is considered that more than eleven million Americans are suffering from COPD and many of them belong to the former or current smokers’ category.

Lead author of this study, pulmonologist M. Brad Drummond, M.D., M.H.S., said that the latest finding is a reminder to the medical fraternity and patients with severe lung disease to plan and take steps to reduce the risk of catching pneumonia, which doubles their risk of dying.

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