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Tuesday 27 September 2016 Instagram
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Pills 'good inhaler stand-ins'

Pills 'good inhaler stand-ins'

Taking tablets instead of using an inhaler may have better results for treating mild forms of asthma, latest research suggests.

A study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that patients with mild asthma responded just as well to the rarely-prescribed pills leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) as they did to steroid inhalers.

The tablets also alleviated symptoms of moderate asthma when they were consumed by those who also used a steroid inhaler.

In addition to this, it was found that patients are more likely to stick to their treatment if they are just told to take LTRAs.

But the study, which involved 650 patients with chronic asthma who were either treated with inhalers or LTRAs for two years, found that the pills were only effective replacements for inhalers for mild asthma. Moderate asthma was still found to be most effectively treated by steroid inhalers.

Lead author Professor David Price, from the University of Aberdeen and the University of East Anglia, said: "We hope these findings will increase the options for healthcare professionals when prescribing for this common but disruptive disease."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

New England Journal of Medicine

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"I am delighted. Some inhaler techniques, and patient co-operation with recommendations, leave a lot to be desired" - Gillian, Northern Ireland 

"LTRAs have been magic for several of my patients over the years - miraculous, in some cases. I doubt their license will be changed after this one study though, nor do I think it should be" - Carrie, East Midlands

"I find LRTAs are very successful and the local hospital are doing trials with them, BUT they are not recommended as monotherapy, and I would not use them as such without consultant input. They are not 'rarely' prescribed as your article suggests, they are well known and frequently prescribed" - Penny, London

"LTRAs have been magic for several of my patients over the years - miraculous, in some cases. I doubt their license will be changed after this one study though, nor do I think it should be" - Carrie, East Midlands

"Excellent for some children but side-effects can be significant in some - tummy aches/upset, sleep disturbance/nightmares and adverse behaviour changes. Always advise parents about these and review after 1 month" - Viv Marsh, West Midlands

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