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Asthma Needs Right Treatment

Many patients don't receive proper drugs

MONDAY, July 12, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Many doctors in the United States aren't giving proper medication to people with asthma, says a nationwide study in the July issue of Chest.

The study of 12,636 asthma patients who visited hospital emergency departments found that doctors aren't following the recommended asthma guidelines. They're under-prescribing controller medications and over-prescribing rescue medications, such as short-acting beta-agonists (SABA).

Evidence-based guidelines recommend inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) therapy for asthma control. But this study found only 25 percent of asthma patients received ICS in the year before their visit to the emergency department.

More than 80 percent of asthma patients received rescue medications. A third received an oral corticosteroid and more than 50 percent received a SABA.

In the two months after their emergency department visit, 26 percent of the asthma patients received ICS therapy, 38 percent received a SABA, and 42 percent received OCS therapy.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about asthma.

SOURCE: Chest, news release, July 12, 2004
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