ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Long-Acting Beta2 Agonists as Steroid-Sparing Agents - Cochrane for Clinicians
ABSTRACT: The Expert Panel Report 3 of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program represents a major advance in the approach to asthma care by emphasizing the monitoring of clinically relevant aspects of care and the importance of planned primary care, and by providing patients practical tools for self-management. Treatment of asthma should be guided by a new system of classification that assesses severity at initial evaluation and control at all subsequent visits. Asthma severity is determined by current impairment (as evidenced by impact on day-to-day activities) and risk of future exacerbations (as evidenced by frequency of oral systemic corticosteroid use), and allows categorization of disease as intermittent, persistent-mild, persistent-moderate, and persistent-severe. Initial treatment is guided by the disease-severity category. The degree of control is also determined by the analysis of current impairment and future risk. Validated questionnaires can be used for following the impairment domain of control with patients whose asthma is categorized as "well controlled," "not well controlled," and "very poorly controlled." Decisions about medication adjustment and planned follow-up are based on the category of disease control. Whereas a stepwise approach for asthma management continues to be recommended, the number of possible steps has increased.
The New Asthma Guidelines - Editorials
ABSTRACT: Proper care of patients with asthma involves the triad of systematic chronic care plans, self-management support, and appropriate medical therapy. Controller medications (inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting beta2 agonists, and leukot- riene receptor antagonists) are the foundation of care for persistent asthma and should be taken daily on a long-term basis to achieve and maintain control of symptoms. Inhaled corticosteroids are the preferred controller medication; studies have demonstrated that when inhaled corticosteroids are used consistently, they improve asthma control more effectively than any other single long-term control medication. Combining long-acting beta2 agonists and inhaled corticosteroids is effective and safe when inhaled corticosteroids alone are insufficient, and such combinations are an alternative to increasing the dosage of inhaled corticosteroids. For patients with mild persistent asthma, leukotriene receptor antagonists are an alternative, second-line treatment option. They are easy to use, have high rates of compli- ance, and can provide good symptom control in many patients. Leukotriene receptor antagonists can also be used as an adjunctive therapy with inhaled corticosteroids, but for persons 12 years and older the addition of long-acting beta2 agonists is preferred. Inhaled short-acting beta2 agonists are the most effective therapy for rapid reversal of airflow obstruction and prompt relief of asthmatic symptoms. Increasing the use of short-acting beta2 agonists or using them more than two days per week or more than two nights per month generally indicates inadequate control of asthma and the need to initiate or intensify anti-inflammatory therapy. Oral systemic corticosteroids should be used to treat moderate to severe asthma exacerbations.
ABSTRACT: Asthma, a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, may be classified as mild intermittent or mild, moderate, or severe persistent. Patients with persistent asthma require medications that provide long-term control of their disease and medications that provide quick relief of symptoms. Medications for long-term control of asthma include inhaled corticosteroids, cromolyn, nedocromil, leukotriene modifiers and long-acting bronchodilators. Inhaled corticosteroids remain the most effective anti-inflammatory medications in the treatment of asthma. Quick-relief medications include short-acting beta2 agonists, anticholinergics and systemic corticosteroids. The frequent use of quick-relief medications indicates poor asthma control and the need for larger doses of medications that provide long-term control of asthma. New guidelines from the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel II recommend an aggressive "step-care" approach. In this approach, therapy is instituted at a step higher than the patient's current level of asthma severity, with a gradual "step down" in therapy once control is achieved.
Bending the Rules to Get a Medication - Curbside Consultation
Management of Acute Asthma Exacerbations - Article
ABSTRACT: Asthma exacerbations can be classified as mild, moderate, severe, or life threatening. Criteria for exacerbation severity are based on symptoms and physical examination parameters, as well as lung function and oxygen saturation. In patients with a peak expiratory flow of 50 to 79 percent of their personal best, up to two treatments of two to six inhalations of short-acting beta2 agonists 20 minutes apart followed by a reassessment of peak expiratory flow and symptoms may be safely employed at home. Administration using a hand-held metered-dose inhaler with a spacer device is at least equivalent to nebulized beta2 agonist therapy in children and adults. In the ambulatory and emergency department settings, the goals of treatment are correction of severe hypoxemia, rapid reversal of airflow obstruction, and reduction of the risk of relapse. Multiple doses of inhaled anticholinergic medication combined with beta2 agonists improve lung function and decrease hospitalization in school-age children with severe asthma exacerbations. Intravenous magnesium sulfate has been shown to significantly increase lung function and decrease the necessity of hospitalization in children. The administration of systemic corticosteroids within one hour of emergency department presentation decreases the need for hospitalization, with the most pronounced effect in patients with severe exacerbations. Airway inflammation can persist for days to weeks after an acute attack; therefore, more intensive treatment should be continued after discharge until symptoms and peak expiratory flow return to baseline.
Acute Asthma and Other Recurrent Wheezing Disorders in Children - Clinical Evidence Handbook