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Asthma drug restrictions urged

December 12, 2008|associated press

WASHINGTON — Health advisors recommended restrictions Thursday on some long-acting asthma drugs but spared Advair, a top-selling medication.

Outside experts advising the Food and Drug Administration said Foradil and Serevent no longer should be used for asthma. But they said the benefits of the more widely used Advair and Symbicort clearly outweighed the risks.

All four contain an ingredient that relaxes muscles around stressed airways. But that may mask symptoms that can trigger life-threatening asthma attacks. Advair and Symbicort contain a second ingredient that reduces inflammation inside breathing passages and may help patients avoid such problems.

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