The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced new safety warnings for long-acting inhaled medications–or Long-Acting Beta-Agonists (LABAs)- drugs used to treat asthma symptoms.
According to the FDA, Foradil and Serevent should not be taken alone by children or adults. While Advair and Symbicort, should not be used together. The agency says it will require manufacturers to add additional safety warnings to the product labels and ask doctors as well as patients to scale back the overall use of these drugs.
LABAs put asthma patients at increased risk of severe, worsening symptoms; they lead to increased hospitalizations and in some cases even death, warns the FDA.
The news isn’t entirely new, in fact, in December 2008, federal drug officials warned the continued use of Advair, Foradil, SereVent and Symbicort– increases risk of asthma-related deaths and asthma attacks.
Asthma is a narrowing of the airways in the lungs brought on by hypersensitivity to certain stimuli. When these stimuli enter the lungs they cause the muscles in the airway to spasm, interfering with the airway. Children tend to be especially susceptible.
For more information, read the FDA Safety Announcement.