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Teen Health Alert - Dangerous Asthma Medications

By December 11, 2008

The FDA has just recommended that the use of the drugs Foradil and Serevent be restricted. The concern is that these two drugs, known as long-acting beta-agonists or LABAs, can mask the symptoms of a life-threatening asthma attack. Drugs that contain LABAs in combination with other drugs like inhaled steroids will remain on the market. Advair is one of these combination medications, and it will still be recommended for use in teens.

For years I had read about the dangers of the LABA class of drug. The primary concern is that the use of these drugs alone (without a steroid) lead to a higher incidence of death from an asthma attack. I am glad to see that the FDA has come out against the use of this class of drug in all patients, including teenagers.

If your teenager has asthma and is on Foradil, Serevent, or another long-acting beta agonist, contact your pediatric provider immediately. It is important for your child's asthma to be managed appropriately, so don't hesitate to discuss your concerns with the person who is there to protect your teen's health.
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