Health Discoveries in General Health News

Asthma pills and inhaled medicine may have same effect

May 5, 2011
The use of asthma pills and inhaled steroids are about equally effective in managing the respiratory condition, according to a UK study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Included in the study were 650 participants, aged 12 to 80, who had mild to moderate asthma. They were divided into groups that used the asthma pills as a first-line treatment and those who added the pills to their inhaled medication.

The conclusions were that the medications weren't necessarily equivalent, but that their effect on the asthma conditions of participants was similar. The U.S. National Institutes of Health's guidelines call for inhaled medications as the preferred medication for asthma patients.

"Every different patient will have their own issues that are important to their care: their compliance to different medications, how well they feel that different medications work for them [and] any possible minor side effects, said Dr. Stanley Musgrove, of the University of East Anglia in Norwich. "All of those should be considered when the clinician and the patient are making a decision about the best medication."

Within the North Shore-LIJ Health System, researchers are studying the drug tiotropium, a solution administered through an inhaler, to gauge its effectiveness in controlling asthma symptoms when used with patients' usual asthma medications.
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