FDA issues warning about the use of some asthma inhalers

The following appeared in the WSJ today, February 19th, 2010.
Safety experts advising the FDA have been sending up flares about various asthma drugs for several years. In 2007, a panel said GlaxoSmithKline’s Serevent and Advair should carry a warning about risks to children. In 2008, experts said Serevent and Norvartis’s Foradil shouldn’t be used for asthma any more.
Today, the FDA itself said it had heard enough. The agency said it plans to impose new “safety controls” over those three drugs as well as AstraZeneca’s Symbicort, warning that they should be for the shortest time possible to obtain asthma control and then discontinued. Here’s the FDA announcement and a Q&Afrom the agency.
The drugs are so-called long-acting beta-agonists that are used by about six million asthma patients. The FDA said single-agent LABAs should be taken along with other inhaled drugs called corticosteroids. Advair and Symbicort come with LABAs and steroids combined.
The medications already carry various warnings but the new wording will be tougher in a bid to cut down on overall use and avoid improper usage that can cause hospitalizations and death, the FDA said. Some 22 million Americans have asthma, a chronic condition marked by narrowing of the airways.
The inhalers that the FDA is referring to include:
  • Serevent Disdul
  • Foradil Aerolizer
  • Foradil
  • Advair Diskus
  • Advair HFA
  • Symbicort
  • Brovana
  • Perforomist
I have already received many calls about what should people do.  First, you should contact your doctor for guidance on use of your inhalers. 
Asthma is an inflammatory condition.  These inhalers are life saving drugs, but they do not help the body balance the underlying problems leading to over reactive and inflamed airways.  
There are many things that can be done to help get the body more in balance, decrease the inflammation and lower the reactivity.  Many clients have had great results with this type of support, and have been able to decrease their use of their medications.
Homeopathy, nutritional support, digestive support, gentle detoxification can be very helpful. 
Each of us is unique, and our imbalances are different, therefore, each protocol needs to be customized to your unique situation.  Please feel free to call me at 781-893-3870 x5 to set up a consult time to put a program together specifically for you

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