Simplified Asthma Inhaler Reduces Attacks
Symbicort is a potent medication containing a long acting beta agonist (LABA) combined with an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS). Regular use of medications like Symbicort has been linked to increased hospital admissions, especially in children and should be prescribed with caution. This is why these medications were originally only prescribed in severe cases of asthma not responding to ICS alone. Read more about asthma medications.
Another unreported aspect of this study is to normalise daily use of a potent asthma medication for mild asthmatics. While this certainly boosts drug company revenue, it could also lead to inadvertent overuse and leave users more vulnerable to asthma exacerbations, especially during respiratory infections or when confronted by situations that might trigger an acute attack. In these situations, rescue inhalers such as Ventolin are often ineffective resulting in rapid deterioration, in many cases requiring hospitalisation.
These kinds of articles increasingly read like pharmaceutical company PR. One questions why the journalist did not investigate the risky side effects instead of jumping 100% on the game-changer bandwagon, or explore other developments in the field. These researchers and the media reporting the studies are little more than a mouthpiece for the drug companies. It is irresponsible, especially when the health of children can be affected.
If clinically demonstrated, non-pharmacologic approaches like the Buteyko method were considered alongside existing medication-based management, we might be better placed to reduce the considerable burden of asthma in New Zealand. This would truly be a game changer.
We instruct all our clients not to make any changes to their medication without first consulting their GP or specialist.
Posted: Wed 28 Aug 2019
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