Update on the safety of long-acting β-agonists in combination with inhaled corticosteroids for the treatment of asthma

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Abstract

A number of concerns were voiced in 2006 regarding the safety of the use of long-acting β-agonists (LABAs) for treatment of asthma. These concerns included whether use of this class of drug increases the risk for hospitalization, near death, or death due to asthma, whether the increased risk was greater in African Americans, and whether individuals who are homozygous for arginine at the 16th codon of the β2-adrenergic receptor have a poorer response or even deteriorate when prescribed LABAs. Subsequent studies have addressed each of these concerns. It is hoped that the consistently reassuring data that have been generated during the last 3 years will reduce the concerns among physicians, patients, and regulatory authorities regarding the safety of combination LABA and inhaled corticosteroid use in patients with asthma and allow the proper use of this valuable combination treatment for appropriate patients.

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