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Adherence to asthma treatment affects the effectiveness of inhaled corticosteroids
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September 4, 2009  |  Posted in  Steroids Blog

Adherence to asthma treatment affects the effectiveness of inhaled corticosteroidsAlthough most of asthma patients take inhaled corticosteroids for asthma treatment, not all adhere to their asthma treatment plan.

In fact, only 70% of asthmatics, in one study, reported taking their inhaled corticosteroids when not having asthma symptoms.

Patients were more likely to take oral controller medications compared to inhaled corticosteroids. This led to better outcomes with oral medications in studies and trials.

However, the issue of adherence aside, inhaled corticosteroids proves to be the most effective monotherapy in asthma. It reduces frequent trips to the emergency room and reduces hospitalization rate. This was reported in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, August issue.

Between monotherapy and combination therapy, treatment of choice is still the combination of inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta agonists. This method of treatment was the most recommended by the 2002 and 2007 National Asthma Education and Prevention Program.

According to the authors, a luekotriene inhibitor (or modifier) must be an alternative treatment in cases where adherence to inhaled corticosteroids is not possible.

Among the reasons cited for non-adherence were difficulty of the treatment plan, decreased confidence in the administration of inhaled corticosteroids and anxiety over potential side effects brought about by steroids use.

From Medpage Today:

When adherence was not an issue, inhaled corticosteroids reduced the risk of emergency department visits and hospitalization and were associated with lower treatment costs, Hiangkat Tan, of HealthCore in Wilmington, Del., and colleagues reported in the August issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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