Evid Based Nurs 8:14 doi:10.1136/ebn.8.1.14
  • Treatment

Review: long term use of common medications for asthma reduces exacerbations in adults

 Q In adults with asthma, does long term use of common pharmacological antiasthmatic agents reduce rates of exacerbations?


GraphicData sources:

Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and the Cochrane databases (all from 1980 to April 2004); bibliographies of relevant articles; and experts.

GraphicStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) (published in English) that lasted ⩾3 months, evaluated common pharmacological treatments for adults (>19 y of age) with asthma, and reported relevant outcomes. Study quality was assessed using the Jadad scale.


exacerbation rates and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1).


4 categories of pharmacological medications were evaluated. Meta-analyses were done using a random effects model when significant data heterogeneity was detected. (1) Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) v a control group of placebo or short acting β2 agonists (SABAs). Exacerbation rates were lower in the ICS group …

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