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FDA Approves New Device for Adults with Severe and Persistent Asthma
Date:4/27/2010

oval on data from a clinical trial of 297 patients with severe and persistent asthma. The trial showed a reduction of severe asthma attacks with use of the Alair system.

The FDA is requiring a five-year post-approval study of the device to study its long-term safety and effectiveness. The device manufacturer, Asthmatx, will follow many of the patients who were enrolled in the clinical trial and enroll 300 new patients at several medical centers across the United States.

Possible side effects during the course of treatment may include asthma attacks, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, partially collapsed lung (atelectasis), coughing up blood (hemoptysis), anxiety, headaches, and nausea. The Alair system is designed to reduce the number of severe asthma attacks on a long-term basis. However, there is a risk of immediate asthma attacks during the course of the treatment.

The Alair system is not for use in asthma patients with a pacemaker, internal defibrillator, or other implantable electronic device. Also, those patients with known sensitivities to lidocaine, atropine, or benzodiazepines should not use the device.  Alair has not been studied for success in retreatment of the same area of the lung. Currently, patients should not be retreated with the Alair system in the same area of the lung.  

Asthma patients considering the Alair system should not be treated while the following conditions are present: an active respiratory infection, coagulopathy (bleeding disorder), asthma exacerbations, or if they have had changes to their corticosteroid regimen 14 days before the proposed treatment.

Asthmatx Inc. is based in Sunnyvale, Calif.

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SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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