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Asthma: Symptom-Driven Therapy May Be Sufficient For Some Adults

 
  April, 14 2005 23:33
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Some adults with mild persistent asthma may be able to adequately control their asthma by taking corticosteroids only when needed, instead of taking anti-inflammatory medication daily, according to new results from the Improving Asthma Control Trial (IMPACT). Conducted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Asthma Clinical Research Network, the one-year, multi-center study found that participants who were treated with corticosteroids intermittently based on symptoms had about the same rate of severe exacerbations and of asthma-related lung function decline as those treated with the standard recommendation of daily long-term control medication.

Asthma is considered mild and persistent when individuals have acute symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, or chest tightness more than twice a week, but not daily, or they have night-time awakenings due to asthma more than two nights a month. The researchers caution that the new findings might not apply to people who have recently developed asthma. In addition, they do not apply to patients with more frequent symptoms or more severe asthma. The results are published in the April 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine..

Resources

* Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma — Update on Selected Topics 2002
* National Asthma Education and Prevention Program.
* Asthma Information for Patients and the General Public


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