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Beta-2-Agonists: Analysis Challenges Regular Use in Patients with Asthma

KEY POINT

Regular beta-2-agonist use leads to pharmacologic tolerance to the beneficial effects of the drugs within 1 week, according to authors of a meta-analysis of 22 trials. If confirmed, these findings challenge assumptions about the standard of care for asthma and cast doubt on national guidelines recommending use of the drugs for second-line therapy.

SOURCES

Salpeter SR et al. Meta-analysis: respiratory tolerance to regular beta-2-agonist use in patients with asthma. Ann Intern Med. 2004;140:802–13.