Smart Woman: Combination Inhalers Prove More Effective for Asthmatics

    Nine people die from asthma each day in the U.S. Now a new study looks at patients who have trouble controlling their conditions and suggests possibly changing the way doctors treat them.

    Some asthmatics have two inhalers to control their asthma. One is used every day for prevention and the other is a rescue inhaler used during an asthma attack. Doctors say it's a common practice in the U.S., but a new study in Europe, published in the Lancet, finds that combining both medications in one inhaler may be a better solution.

    "They were able to treat people effectively with one medication for inflammation and broncho-dilation," says Dr. Clifford Bassett.

    Patients in the study used the combination inhaler twice a day. If symptoms came on, rather than use a separate relief inhaler they just took another puff on the combination inhaler. For patients with moderate or severe asthma, the single inhaler worked better than two. There was a 39 percent improvement in the reduction of asthma episodes.

    Doctor Bassett says the study results are still too new to change his practice. He says he wants patients to know that if they have active asthma they need to carry their rescue inhaler with them at all times, especially as we head into allergy season, which can be a dangerous trigger for asthma.

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