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American Lung Association Study to be Published in the 'New England Journal of Medicine' Finds Prescription Heartburn Medication Does Not Control Asthma Symptoms as Previously Thought
Date:4/8/2009

--Practice Changing Study Calls on Doctors to Stop Prescribing Potent Heartburn Medications to Asthma Patients Without Frequent Symptoms of Gastric Reflux--

WASHINGTON, April 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For nearly 20 years, it was believed that severe asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and breathlessness were triggered in part by acid reflux. A new study conducted by the American Lung Association's Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) finds the longstanding practice of prescribing heartburn medication to be ineffective and unnecessarily expensive for some asthma patients who do not exhibit symptoms associated with acid reflux such as heartburn or stomach pain.

Patients participating in the American Lung Association's ACRC study were randomly given either 80 milligrams of esomeprazole or placebo. Patients in both groups had similar numbers of poor asthma control episodes, and there were no differences in their lung function or other asthma symptoms. These results show that prescription acid controllers were no more effective than placebo for the treatment of asthma.

The results of this study, which were published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, are considered to be the most comprehensive evaluation to date of the efficacy of prescription heartburn medication to control respiratory flare-ups in asthmatics whose symptoms have not been well controlled by other therapies.

"Each year, people with asthma are spending as much as $10 million dollars on prescription heartburn medication believing it will help control attacks of wheezing, coughing and breathlessness," said Norman H. Edelman, MD, American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer. "Now we know with confidence that silent acid reflu
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SOURCE American Lung Association
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