Inhaled steroids don't help asthma flare-ups - (Yahoo!News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Doubling the dose of inhaled steroids doesn't appear to dampen asthma attacks, despite the practice being recommended by many doctors, Canadian researchers said Thursday, as reported in Yahoo!News.
  • Until recently, national guidelines advised people to double the dose of inhaled steroids, such as Pulmicort or Flovent, when they felt an asthma flare-up coming on.
  • The Canadian researchers pooled the best data available on outcomes with the higher doses, including five clinical trials that assigned 1,250 patients randomly to take either the standard dose of inhaled steroids or an increased dose.
  • Overall, doubling or even quadrupling the amount of inhalant at the onset of a flare-up didn't make patients any less likely to need rescue treatment with swallowed or injected steroids such as prednisone.
  • While effective, those stronger treatments may cause serious side effects like depression or bone thinning, so patients and doctors prefer to limit their use.
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