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Review: inhaled long acting β2 agonists are effective and safe in stable chronic asthma

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Q In people with stable chronic asthma, are inhaled long acting β2 agonists (LABAs) effective and safe?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★☆☆ Internal medicine ★★★★★★☆ Allergy ★★★★☆☆☆ Respirology ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

Cochrane Airways Review Group’s randomised controlled trial (RCT) register (includes studies from searches of Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and CINAHL); hand searches of 20 high yield respiratory care journals; reference lists; and contact with researchers.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

RCTs that compared inhaled LABAs (salmeterol or formoterol), given twice daily, with placebo in adults or children who have had asthma for ⩾3 months. Studies that included people with other pulmonary diseases (particularly smoking related chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) were excluded.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

daytime and night-time asthma symptom scores, daily peak flow measurement, bronchodilator use …

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  • For correspondence: Professor E Walters University of Tasmania Medical School, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

  • Source of funding: Commonwealth Department of Health and Aging, Australia.