Review: LABAs okay only with steroids

January 15, 2008

The worry about safety with long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) should not be a problem, provided the LABAs are used with a corticosteroid...

The worry about safety with long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) should not be a problem, provided the LABAs are used with a corticosteroid.

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MRHA) reviewed safety data from the asthma/COPD treatments after the postmarketing "SMART" study. The study found a statistically significant increase in deaths from respiratory- and asthma-related reasons for users of LABAs.

The review found that there has been a marked decrease in the number of hospitalizations for asthma, as well as the number of asthma-related deaths. More postmarekting studies are being done on LABAs in 2008.

For the time being, LABAs are considered safe when used in combination with an inhaled steroid. Many products already combine the two medications.