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Panel Critical of FDA's Asthma Drug Ruling

Experts Concerned About Limits on Long-Acting Asthma Drugs Such as Serevent and Foradil

Asthma Attacks Down Since LABAs Introduced continued...

No one exactly knows when LABAs can be discontinued, Busse says, "But you don’t just turn them off as soon as you achieve control."

Inhaled steroids, the mainstay of asthma treatment, reduce airway inflammation and mucus production, leading to better asthma control, fewer symptoms and flare-ups, and reduced hospitalizations. But they do not relieve asthma symptoms you already have.

LABAs relax muscles in the lung's airways, improving a patient's ability to breathe freely and reducing asthma symptoms.

LABAs are approved to treat both people with asthma or with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The new recommendations only apply to the use of LABAs in the treatment of asthma. 

The panel says it hopes to perform further studies to better define if and when LABAs can be discontinued. And the FDA is requiring LABA makers to perform additional studies of the drugs' safety.

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