FDA issues new asthma drug warnings

June 3, 2010

The warnings say medicine known as long-acting beta agonists. or LABAs, should never be used on their own to treat asthma.

Drugs such as Serevent and Foradil are LABA drugs. Two more widely used blockbuster medicines, Advair and Symbicort, are combination drugs that include a LABA with a corticosteroid.

LABAs work by relaxing the muscles of the airways to help people breathe easier. But they can cause an increased risk of severely worse asthma symptoms that can lead to hospitalizations and death.

The FDA hopes these warnings will reduce the stand alone use of these LABA drugs in asthma patients

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