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Serevent (Salmeterol)

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Serevent is used for long-term treatment of asthma. It may be used to prevent breathing problems in certain patients, including patients with nighttime asthma, or breathing problems caused by exercise. It may be used for long-term treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Other names for this medication:

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Theo-24 Sr, Serevent, Theo-24 Cr, Ventolin, Flovent


Also known as:  Salmeterol.


Serevent is used to prevent asthma attacks. Its active ingredient Salmeterol is a bronchodilator. It works by relaxing muscles in the airways to improve breathing. It will not treat an asthma attack that has already begun.

Serevent is also used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Generic name of Serevent is Salmeterol.

Brand name of Serevent is Serevent.


Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. Use Serevent exactly as directed.

Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.

The usual dose of Serevent for asthma and COPD is 1 inhalation twice a day. The 2 doses should be about 12 hours apart.


If you overdose Serevent and you don't feel good you should visit your doctor or health care provider immediately. Overdose symptoms may include nervousness, headache, tremor, dry mouth, chest pain or heavy feeling, rapid or uneven heart rate, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, dizziness, seizure (convulsions), feeling light-headed or fainting.


Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F) away from moisture, light and heat. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date. Keep out of the reach of children.

Side effects

The most common side effects associated with Serevent are:

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Side effect occurrence does not only depend on medication you are taking, but also on your overall health and other factors.


Do not take Serevent if you are allergic to Serevent components.

It is not known whether Serevent will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without your doctor's advice if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

You shouldn't take Serevent if you have heart disease or high blood pressure; epilepsy or other seizure disorder; diabetes; a thyroid disorder; or liver disease.

Do not use a second form of salmeterol (such as Advair) or use a similar inhaled bronchodilator such as formoterol or arformoterol (Foradil, Perforomist, Symbicort, or Brovana) unless your doctor has told you to.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old.

Do not use Serevent to treat an asthma attack that has already begun. Salmeterol may increase the risk of asthma-related death.

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes. If this does happen, rinse the eyes with water and seek medical attention.

Do not stop taking Serevent suddenly.

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Asthma affects approximately 5 million children in the United States. This disease results in billions of dollars of expenditures for hospitalizations, emergency admissions, medications, equipment, and indirect costs such as lost work productivity. This article describes how children with asthma received in-depth evaluations and education, long-term control medications, and Air Watch monitoring to improve treatment adherence, asthma control, and asthma severity. Study patients (n = 99) received patient care and education according to the protocols of the Pediatric Asthma Clinic, Lovelace Health Systems (Albuquerque, NM). All enrolled patients were prescribed fluticasone propionate and salmeterol xinafoate based on asthma severity and the National Institutes of Health guidelines. In addition, each patient used the AirWatch electronic airway monitoring system. Patients (n = 80) who participated in the study for 6 months demonstrated overall improved adherence to prescribed medications and better control of asthma. Adherence to the AirWatch system decreased over time, most likely due to improvements in the way the patients felt. In conclusion, treatment adherence, asthma control, and asthma severity can be improved with comprehensive patient education, long-term control medications, and objective home pulmonary function monitoring.

serevent drug category

A combination of salmeterol and fluticasone propionate (SAL/FP) has been shown to be effective in the treatment of asthma. We compared the efficacy and tolerability of SAL/FP (50/250 μg) with fluticasone propionate (FP) 250 μg administrated twice daily for 2 weeks in treating patients with mild to moderate asthma.

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Specialist allergy unit in a university hospital.

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This study compared the bronchodilator efficacy and safety of indacaterol with placebo, salbutamol and salmeterol, in patients with persistent asthma, at single therapeutic and supratherapeutic doses.

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There were no cases of RADS diagnosed at 6-month follow-up evaluations.

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The long-acting beta2 sympathomimetics salmeterol and formoterol have been presumed to exert their prolonged action either by binding to an accessory binding site ("exo-site") near the beta2 adrenoceptor or by their high affinity for beta2 adrenoceptors and correspondingly slow dissociation. Whereas most studies with salmeterol had been done in intact tissues, which have slow diffusion and compartmentation of drugs in lipophilic phases, that restrict drug access to the receptor biophase, we used purified receptor membranes from rat lung and disaggregated calf tracheal myocytes as model systems. Binding experiments were designed to measure the slow dissociation of agonists by means of delayed association of (-)-[125I]iodopindolol. Rat lung membranes were pretreated with high concentrations of agonists (salmeterol, formoterol, isoprenaline) before dissociation was induced by 50-fold dilution. Half-times of association of (-)-[125I]iodopindolol remained unchanged compared with untreated controls, indicating that dissociation of agonists occurred in less than 2 min. Adenylyl cyclase experiments were designed to determine the on and off kinetics of agonists to beta2 adrenoceptors by measuring the rate of receptor-induced cyclic AMP (cAMP) formation. Experiments were performed in tracheal membranes characterized by high Vmax values of cAMP formation. Adenylyl cyclase activation occurred simultaneously with the addition of the agonist, continued linearly with time for 60 min, and ceased immediately after the antagonist was added. Similarly, when receptor membranes were preincubated in a small volume with high salmeterol concentrations, there was a linear increase in cAMP formation, which was immediately interrupted by a 100-fold dilution of the reaction mixture. This militates against the exo-site hypothesis. On the other hand, dissociation by dilution was much less when membranes were preincubated with a large volume of salmeterol at the same concentration, indicating that physicochemical effects, and not exo-site binding, underlie its prolonged mode of action.

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The toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a key component of host defense in the respiratory epithelium. Cigarette smoking is associated with increased susceptibility to infection, while COPD is characterised by bacterial colonisation and infective exacerbations. We found reduced TLR4 gene expression in the nasal epithelium of smokers compared with non-smoking controls, while TLR2 expression was unchanged. Severe COPD was associated with reduced TLR4 expression compared to less severe disease, with good correlation between nasal and tracheal expression. We went on to examine the effect of potential modulators of TLR4 expression in respiratory epithelium pertinent to airways disease. Using an airway epithelial cell line, we found a dose-dependent downregulation in TLR4 mRNA and protein expression by stimulation with cigarette smoke extracts. Treatment with the corticosteroids fluticasone and dexamethasone resulted in a dose-dependent reduction in TLR4 mRNA and protein. The functional significance of this effect was demonstrated by impaired IL-8 and HBD2 induction in response to LPS. Stimulation with salmeterol (10-6 M) caused upregulation of TLR4 membrane protein presentation with no upregulation of mRNA, suggesting a post-translational effect. The effect of dexamethasone and salmeterol in combination was additive, with downregulation of TLR4 gene expression, and no change in membrane receptor expression. Modulation of TLR4 in respiratory epithelium may have important implications for airway inflammation and infection in response to inhaled pathogens.

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Thirty-one clinical centers in the United States.

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Two hundred eighty-five children aged 6 to 14 years with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma were randomized to receive one of 3 controller regimens and completed daily symptom diaries for 48 weeks. Diary responses were analyzed for the frequency and consequences of NASRAs.

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No statistically significant associations between Arg16Gly genotypes and serial FEV(1) clinical responses to SAL and FSC were observed following acute assessment. In addition, the FEV(1) response was preserved following 12 weeks of treatment with SAL and FSC and was not altered by Arg16Gly genotypes analyzed. These results may not be generalizable to other ethnic groups since they are derived predominantly from Caucasians.

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Preclinical studies have shown both salmeterol and formoterol to be potent and selective at beta 2-adrenoceptors but to have different mechanisms and durations of action. The pharmacologic profiles of these drugs result from prolonged activation of beta 2-adrenoceptors, leading to long-lasting bronchodilation (with no evidence of tolerance or tachyphylaxis) and additional nonbronchodilator properties. The long-acting beta 2-agonists represent a therapeutic advance in the management of asthma.

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Lung function measurements including FEV(1), PEF, specific airways conductance (sGaw) and maximum expiratory flow at 25-75% of vital capacity were measured at baseline, 2, 12, 16, 20 and 24 h.

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Eotaxin-1 (CCL11), an eosinophil-specific C-C chemokine, is a potent chemoattractant for mobilization of eosinophils into airways after allergic stimulation. Eotaxin-1 recruits eosinophils into inflammatory sites, and may play a role in the pathogenesis of asthma. Formoterol and salmeterol are two inhaled long acting beta(2) adrenoceptor agonists (LABAs), widely used for the local treatment of asthma. However, little is known about their effects on the eotaxin-1 expression of bronchial epithelial cells. BEAS-2B cells were stimulated by adding IL-4 with or without 2 h pre-treatment of formoterol or salmeterol. The protein and mRNA expression of eotaxin-1 were measured by ELISA assay and real-time PCR, respectively. Effects of formoterol and salmeterol on nuclear and cytosolic pSTAT-6 expression were evaluated by Western blot and immunofluorescence study. Formoterol and salmeterol (10(-7)-10(-10) m) significantly down-regulated IL-4- induced eotaxin-1 expression in BEAS-2B cells. A specific beta(2) adrenoceptor antagonist (ICI 118,551) reversed their suppression of eotaxin-1 production. Forskolin, an cAMP activator, could also suppress the expression of eotaxin-1 by IL-4 in a dose dependent manner (10(-7)-10(-10 )m). The western blot and immunofluorescence studies demonstrated that formoterol 10(-7 )m suppressed the nuclear expression of pSTAT-6. Formoterol and salmeterol, two inhaled long-acting beta(2) agonists, down-regulated IL-4- induced eotaxin-1 expression in BEAS-2B cells. The effect was mediated via the beta(2) adrenoceptor, and cAMP. Formoterol significantly down-regulated pSTAT6 at higher concentration, and further turned off the IL-4 signaling pathway.

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Management plans for childhood asthma show limited success in optimising asthma control. The aim of the present study was to assess whether a treatment strategy guided by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) increased the number of symptom-free days and improved lung function in asthmatic children, compared with a symptom-driven reference strategy. In a multicentre, double-blind, parallel-group, randomised, 2-yr intervention trial, 210 children (aged 6-16 yrs) with moderate atopic asthma, selected on the basis of symptom scores and/or the presence of AHR, were studied. At 3-monthly visits, symptom scores, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)) and methacholine challenge results were obtained, and medication (five levels of fluticasone with or without salmeterol) adjusted according to algorithms based on symptom score (reference strategy, n = 104) or AHR and symptom score (AHR strategy, n = 102). After 2 yrs, no difference was found in the percentage of symptom-free days between treatment strategies. Pre-bronchodilator FEV(1) was higher in the AHR strategy (2.3% predicted). This was entirely explained by a gradual worsening of FEV(1) in a subgroup of 91 hyperresponsive children enrolled with low symptom scores (final difference between study arms was 6%). Asthma treatment guided by airway hyperresponsiveness showed no benefits in terms of number of symptom-free days, but produced a better outcome in terms of pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second in allergic asthmatic children, especially those characterised by low symptom scores despite airway hyperresponsiveness.

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There were no significant between-group differences in asthma exacerbations (primary variable), asthma symptoms, or lung function during the 7-month treatment period. Less study drug (inhalations per day, P < .001) was used with adjustable-dose versus fixed-dose budesonide/formoterol. All treatments were well tolerated.

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Salmeterol xinafoate is a long-acting, highly selective, beta2-adrenergic agonist that produces bronchodilation and clinically significant improvement in pulmonary function for up to 12 hours in patients with asthma.

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We conducted the review according to standard procedures expected by the Cochrane Collaboration. We obtained unpublished data on mortality and serious adverse events from the sponsors, and from FDA submissions. We assessed the quality of evidence according to GRADE recommendations.

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Using salmeterol xinafoate (SX) as an active pharmaceutical ingredient, the effects of carrier lactose particle type, total lactose fines content and device resistance on dry powder inhaler performance were investigated in vitro. To mimic drug levels in commercial preparations, interactive mixtures containing 0.58% w/w SX were prepared by low shear tumble mixing. Three types of milled inhalation grade lactose were used (Lactohale(®) LH 200, Respitose(®) ML006 and ML001) and the concentration of fine lactose (Lactohale(®) 300) added was varied. The in vitro deposition of each mixture was studied using a next generation impactor and inhaler devices exhibiting different resistances, Rotahaler(®)80% ED and MMAD ± GSD between 1-5 μm. The results confirmed the factors under investigation to be important determinants of product performance, but demonstrated using realistic conditions how individual factor impact may be enhanced or mitigated by inter-dependency.

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Lung function is a major criterion used to assess asthma control. Fluctuation analyses can account for lung function history over time, and may provide an additional dimension to characterise control. The relationships between mean and fluctuations in lung function with asthma control, exacerbation and quality of life were studied in two independent data sets.

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Combination treatment with steroids and long-acting beta2-agonists provides greater asthma control than simply increasing the dose of steroids.

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To characterize the surface thermodynamic properties of two polymorphic forms (I and II) of salmeterol xinafoate (SX) prepared from supercritical fluids and a commercial micronized SX (form 1) sample (MSX).

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Omalizumab is an anti-IgE monoclonal antibody available since 2006 for the treatment of GINA step 4 asthma. We studied a 41-year old male who has been suffering from severe steroid-resistant asthma with severe co-morbidity and treated with Omalizumab. He was found to be non-responder to the treatment until the 48th week, starting from which we began to see a distinct improvement in the symptoms and all the correlated parameters, in addition to remission of the co-existent allergy to milk.

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The bronchodilating effect and other related pharmacological properties of SN-408 were studied in comparison with those of isoproterenol, salbutamol and procaterol. SN-408 caused concentration-dependent relaxation of isolated guinea pig trachea via the beta 2-adrenoceptor. The order of relaxation potency was: procaterol greater than SN-408 greater than or equal to isoproterenol greater than salbutamol, but the duration of the action of SN-408 was far longer than those of other beta-agonists. Positive chronotropic and inotropic actions of SN-408 in isolated guinea pig right atria and left atria were less potent than those of other beta-agonists. In isolated guinea pig lung tissues, SN-408 increased cyclic AMP contents. Also in vivo, SN-408 showed dose-dependent bronchodilating action by i.v. administration in anesthetized guinea pigs and by inhalation in conscious guinea pigs. Bronchodilating actions of SN-408 were less potent than those of procaterol and isoproterenol, but the duration of action of SN-408 was far longer than those of other beta-agonists. SN-408 showed no evidence of the development of tolerance to the bronchodilating action. SN-408 caused small tachycardia in guinea pigs by i.v. and inhalation. SN-408 given i.v. suppressed vascular permeability in mice. These results indicate that SN-408 is a long-acting and selective beta 2-stimulant bronchodilator.

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Current asthma guidelines recommend that patients are educated to adjust their medication according to their asthma severity using physician-guided self-management plans. However, many patients take a fixed dose of their controller medication and adjust their reliever medication according to asthma symptoms.

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serevent buy 2016-10-14

Fluticasone furoate/vilanterol trifenatate (FF/VI) is a once-daily inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting β₂-agonist combination in development for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment. We compared the efficacy and safety of FF/VI versus fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (FP/SAL) twice daily over 12 weeks. Moderate to very severe COPD patients received FF/VI 100/25 μg once daily in the morning (n=266) or FP/SAL 500/50 μg twice daily (n=262). The primary end-point was a change from baseline in 0-24 h weighted mean forced expiratory volume in 1 s (wmFEV₁) at 12 weeks. Additional end-points included time to 100 mL improvement from baseline on day 1 and a change from baseline in St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). Safety was also assessed. wmFEV₁ (mean 130 mL) was greater and time to 100 mL improvement shorter (median 16 min) with FF/VI than FP/SAL (weighted mean 108 mL, median serevent buy 28 min). Health status (SGRQ total score) improved in both groups (FF/VI -4.3 units, FP/SAL -3.0 units). Differences between treatments were not statistically significant. Six patients in the FF/VI (2%) and three in the FP/SAL (1%) arm experienced serious adverse events, none of which were considered to be drug related. Improvements in lung function and health status were not significantly different between FF/VI 100/25 μg once daily and FP/SAL 500/50 μg twice daily; there was no apparent difference between the safety profiles of either therapy.

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The total number of exacerbations was 334 in the combination therapy and 464 in the salmeterol group (p < 0.0001). The annualized rate of moderate and severe exacerbations per patient was 0.92 in the combination therapy and 1.4 in the salmeterol group, corresponding to a 35% decrease. In addition, the mean time to first exacerbation in the combination therapy group was significantly longer compared serevent buy with that of the salmeterol group (128 vs. 93 d, p < 0.0001). Other endpoints, including health-related quality of life, peak expiratory flow, and use of rescue medication, were significantly improved in the combination therapy group. Both treatments were well tolerated.

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In this randomized, stratified, parallel-group study, 325 patients were randomized to receive either 200 mg theophylline plus 50/250 μg Zetia Prices Usa SFC or placebo tablet plus 50/250 μg SFC twice daily for 24 weeks. Outcome variables included the level of asthma control (assessed by the Asthma Control Test) and the number of patients experiencing ≥1 exacerbations during the 24-week treatment period. Testing of lung function as well as measurement of the levels of inflammatory markers in induced sputum was performed.

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At baseline, airway distensibility (mean, 95%CI) was 0.19(0.14-0.23) cm H(2)O(-1)s(-1), exhaled nitric oxide was 13.1(10.3-16.6)ppb and airway distensibility correlated with eNO (p=0.04) and disease duration (p=0.02) but not with airway responsiveness (p=0.46), FEV(1) (p=0.09) or age ( Atarax Generic Brand p=0.23). After treatment, exhaled nitric oxide decreased (p=0.0002), FEV(1) improved (p=0.0001), airway responsiveness improved (p=0.0002), and there was a small improvement in airway distensibility but it did not normalise (p=0.05). Airway distensibility was not correlated with either exhaled nitric oxide (p=0.49) or airway responsiveness (p=0.20).

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In clinically stable asthmatic patients, despite controller treatment including moderate-dose inhaled corticosteroids and add-on M, 33% of mild to moderate asthmatic patients have ongoing nonsuppressed bronchial sites of increased Imitrex Subq Dose NO production, compared with healthy control subjects. These controllers have no effect on CANO, which was abnormal in 20% of the asthmatic patients studied. The addition of add-on M to baseline moderate-dose inhaled corticosteroid did not further reduce total exhaled, bronchial and/or alveolar NO production.

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The primary measures of effectiveness in the clinical trials were bronchodilator activity and reduction of hyperresponsiveness that may reflect antiinflammatory activity. Bronchodilator activity was measured Paracetamol Dose as changes in pulmonary function; reduction of hyperresponsiveness was evaluated using respiratory challenge with methacholine, histamine, allergen, or cold air. Secondary measures included symptom scores, need for rescue doses, and patient preference.

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Twice-daily inhaled salmeterol produces rapid reduction Aldactone Drug Information in its acute bronchoprotective effect against methacholine in patients with mild asthma. This investigation examined this effect in patients with moderate asthma who were using inhaled corticosteroids.

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The development of a probabilistic Markov model with a time horizon of 1 year to compare the cost-effectiveness of three bronchodilators: 1) the new long-acting anticholinergic tiotropium; 2) the short-acting anticholinergic ipratropium; and 3) the long-acting beta 2-agonist salmeterol, for the treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in different countries. In this Medication Detrol article we compare The Netherlands and Canada.

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The action of nifedipine in delaying labor is impeded by progesterone. A combination of nifedipine and β(2)-agonists should Aggrenox Generic Price be considered for the treatment or prevention of preterm birth.

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One large two year trial (INSPIRE) and two smaller, shorter trials (Dawber 2005; SCO40034) were found. The results from these trials were not pooled. The number of withdrawals from each arm of the INSPIRE trial was large and imbalanced and outcome data was not collected for patients who withdrew, raising concerns about the reliability of data from this study.In INSPIRE, there were more deaths on tiotropium than on fluticasone/salmeterol (Peto OR 0.55; 95% CI 0.33 to 0.93). This was a statistically significant difference, however the number of withdrawals from each of the arms was eleven times larger than the observed number of deaths for participants on fluticasone/salmeterol Atarax Tab 25mg and seven times larger for participants on tiotropium. There were more all cause hospital admissions in patents on fluticasone/salmeterol than those on tiotropium in INSPIRE (Peto OR 1.32; 95% CI 1.04 to 1.67). There was no statistically significant difference in hospital admissions due to exacerbations, the primary outcome of INSPIRE. There was no significant difference in exacerbations in patients on fluticasone/salmeterol compared to tiotropium. Exacerbations requiring treatment with oral corticosteroids were less frequent in patients on fluticasone/salmeterol (Rate Ratio 0.81; 95% CI 0.67 to 0.99). Conversely exacerbations requiring treatment with antibiotics were more frequent in patients treated with fluticasone/salmeterol (Rate Ratio 1.19; 95% CI 1.02 to 1.38). There were more cases of pneumonia in patients on fluticasone/salmeterol than those on tiotropium (Peto OR 2.13; 95% CI 1.33 to 3.40). Confidence intervals for these outcomes do not reflect the additional uncertainty arising from unknown outcome data for patients who withdrew.

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An effective, long-acting bronchodilator could benefit patients with asthma who have Cleocin Maximum Dose symptoms not controlled by antiinflammatory drugs. We compared a new long-acting, inhaled beta 2-adrenoceptor agonist, salmeterol, with a short-acting beta 2-agonist, albuterol, in the treatment of mild-to-moderate asthma.

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For most outcomes Atarax Cost of interest, BFC and FSC showed comparable real-world effectiveness.

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Although current national guidelines suggest combination inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting inhaled beta2-agonist as the preferred treatment in moderate and severe persistent asthma for children, trials aimed at reducing emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations in minority inner-city children have not been conducted with the combination product of fluticasone/salmeterol via Diskus (Advair). This study assessed the effect of fluticasone/salmeterol combination via Diskus therapy on hospitalizations and ED visits in children with asthma. We conducted a prospective 1-year study with an intervention group compared with a usual care control group. This study took place at an inner-city university-affiliated children's medical center allergy clinic. Inner-city patients with asthma aged 4-17 years with a history of frequent ED visits and hospitalizations for the 2 previous years were enrolled beginning in July 2001. A control group of inner-city asthmatic patients was identified via hospital medical records. Patients were prescribed fluticasone/salmeterol combination via Diskus (n = 39) for 1 year and were compared with a usual care control group (n = 39). Although the investigators did not intervene in the control patients, review of their records revealed that all control patients had inhaled corticosteroids prescribed during the Bactrim 750 Mg intervention period. Outcome measures included ED visits and hospitalizations for 1 year after enrollment versus the mean for acute care visits for 2 years before enrollment in the study. The intervention group had a 20% reduction in ED visits, which was significant compared with the control group (p = 0.017); both groups had significant reductions in hospitalizations. The risk of experiencing an asthma exacerbation (ED visit or hospitalization) was reduced by 33% in the intervention group compared with the control group (risk ratio, 0.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.49-0.90; p = 0.005). Our results suggest that fluticasone/salmeterol combination via Diskus is associated with a reduction in risk of acute exacerbations of asthma in inner-city children, including ED visits and hospitalizations.

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Fluticasone furoate (FF)/vilanterol (VI) 100/25 mcg is a once-daily inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA) treatment approved in the United States, Canada and Europe for the long-term maintenance therapy of COPD. We report data from mixed treatment comparisons (MTC) of once-daily FF/VI against established twice-daily ICS/LABA combination therapies on clinical efficacy outcomes.

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The addition of FSC to TIO significantly improved lung function indices including AM pre-dose FEV(1), 2 h post-dose FEV(1), AM pre-dose FVC, 2 h post-dose FVC and AM pre-dose IC compared with TIO alone. Furthermore, this combination was superior to TIO alone in reducing rescue albuterol use. However, there were no significant differences between the treatment groups in health status or COPD exacerbations. The incidence of adverse events was similar in both groups.

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Seven studies, all retrospective cohort studies conducted in the United States, representing approximately 96,000 patients, were included in the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis found that the use of ICSs plus LABAs was associated with a lower risk of asthma-related hospitalizations and/or ER visits than ICSs alone (odds ratio: 0.82; 95% confidence interval: 0.72-0.94). Sensitivity analyses to explore heterogeneity of endpoint definition, duration of follow-up, and patient characteristics did not significantly alter the findings.

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This study was designed to determine whether the benefit of adding salmeterol was superior to doubling the dose of fluticasone propionate (FP) over 6 months, compared to a control group who remained on a lower dose of FP. The multi-centre, double-blind, parallel group study involved 496 symptomatic asthmatic patients with a history of exacerbations on 500-800 micrograms (microg) inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) twice daily (b.d.) in a broadly representative group of 100 hospitals and general practices in six countries. Two doses of FP--250 microg b.d. (FP250) or 500 microg b.d. (FP500)--were compared with the lower dose of FP plus a long-acting beta2-agonist, salmeterol 50 microg b.d. (SM/FP250). Patients symptomatic on the run-in dose of FP250 alone formed the control group in the treatment period. Over 6 months, SM/FP250 significantly improved mean morning peak expiratory flow rates (amPEF) by 42.1 l/min, more than twice the improvement achieved with either dose of FP alone. SM/FP250 also resulted in more symptom-free days and nights (P < 0.002) and days and nights with no relief medication (P < 0.001). The number of severe exacerbations was low: 3, 6 and 8% in the SM/FP250, low- and high-dose FP groups, respectively. This study confirms that adding salmeterol to low-dose inhaled FP offers greater improvements than either maintaining or doubling the dose of FP. Significant benefit was gained from adding salmeterol in a group of patients who appeared to have been at the top of their steroid dose-response curve receiving FP250. There was no evidence of tolerance and a low incidence of exacerbations in all treatment groups.