However, he noted that "there is already a struggle to ensure compliance in asthmatic patients," so timing treatment to symptoms might be easier than putting people on a daily regimen."
Therefore, "while a symptom-based strategy for asthma treatment worked for some patients, and is an attractive idea because it can work, it requires a close monitoring and collaboration between doctor and patient," Horovitz stressed. "For this reason, on balance, the traditional approach of daily inhaled corticosteroids is the safest."
For his part, Calhoun said that "the current protocol of daily inhaled corticosteroid use is effective, but the flexibility and immediate probable cost savings for asthma medicine that a symptom-based approach may offer will appeal to many patients. We hope our findings prompt patients to talk with their doctors and become more active participants in effectively managing their condition."
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about asthma.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCES: Len Horovitz, M.D., pulmonary specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, news release, Sept. 11, 2012
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