Am Fam Physician. 2016 Sep 1;94(5):387.
Is the combination of a long-acting beta agonist and an inhaled corticosteroid as safe and effective as an inhaled corticosteroid alone?
The combination of fluticasone and salmeterol (Advair), with the steroid dose adjusted for disease severity, reduces the number of severe asthma exacerbations more than fluticasone (Flovent) alone (number needed to treat [NNT] = 50 over 26 weeks), with no difference in terms of potential harms, such as intubation or asthma-related death. (Level of Evidence = 1b)
This study was performed by GlaxoSmithKline at the behest of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because of enduring concerns about the safety of long-acting beta agonists. The authors identified patients with moderate to severe asthma who had experienced at least one exacerbation in the previous
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