Asthma maintenance and reliever in one inhaler

AstraZeneca has announced the UK launch of a treatment for uncontrolled asthma which combines maintenance and relief, but requires only a single inhaler.

The treatment, Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol) Maintenance and Reliever Therapy (Symbicort SMART®), is the first of its kind and may offer greater convenience for patients who currently require more than one inhaler.

The system works because the inhaler contains both an inhaled corticosteroid (budesonide) and a rapid and long-acting bronchodilator (formoterol). The rapid onset of action seen with formoterol, which is faster than that seen with salmeterol according to research, is key to its efficacy.

Dr John Haughney, a GP in Glasgow, said: 'As well as compelling data, there are many appealing practical features of using this approach in the management of asthma. By reducing the symptoms and the number of attacks they experience, patients now have the means to achieve control of their asthma using only one inhaler.'

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