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

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


Embedded ImageData sources:

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

Embedded ImageStudy 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.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

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) …

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  • For correspondence: Dr D D Sin, James Hogg iCAPTURE Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

  • Source of funding: no external funding.