Combination therapy of long-acting β agonists and inhaled corticosteroids in the management of chronic asthma
- Cite this article as:
- Nelson, H.S. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep (2005) 5: 123. doi:10.1007/s11882-005-0085-x
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Both the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Expert Panel guidelines recommend combination treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) and inhaled longacting β-agonists (LABAs) for patients whose asthma is not adequately controlled by low doses of ICSs alone. Not only is this combination more effective than the combination of either theophylline or leukotriene modifiers with ICSs, there is suggestive evidence that the results with LABAs and ICSs may be more than additive. Through the effect of each one on the receptor for the other, they may have a synergistic action. This marked effectiveness of the combination, particularly when combined in the same device, has led to new objectives and novel applications. Therefore, for the first time, it appears that the Goals of Asthma Therapy, as outlined in the guidelines, are achievable for many patients with asthma. Also, at least for combination therapies including formoterol, adjustable dosing and perhaps even use as a rescue as well as a maintenance therapy may be possible.