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Warning Given on Use of 4 Popular Asthma Drugs, but Debate Remains
NY Times ^ | December 6, 2008 | GARDINER HARRIS

Posted on 12/09/2008 12:01:25 AM PST by neverdem

WASHINGTON — Two federal drug officials have concluded that asthma sufferers risk death if they continue to use four hugely popular asthma drugs — Advair, Symbicort, Serevent and Foradil. But the officials’ views are not universally shared within the government.

The two officials, who work in the safety division of the Food and Drug Administration, wrote in an assessment on the agency’s Web site on Friday that asthma sufferers of all ages should no longer take the medicines. A third drug-safety official concluded that Advair and Symbicort could be used by adults but that all four drugs should no longer be used by people age 17 and under.

Dr. Badrul A. Chowdhury, director of the division of pulmonary and allergy products at the agency, cautioned in his own assessment that the risk of death associated with the drugs was small and that banning their use “would be an extreme approach” that could lead asthmatics to rely on other risky medications.

Once unheard of, public disagreements among agency experts have occurred on occasion in recent years. The agency is convening a committee of experts on Wednesday and Thursday to sort out the disagreement, which has divided not only the F.D.A. but also clinicians and experts for more than a decade.

Sudden deaths among asthmatics still clutching their inhalers have fed the debate. But trying to determine whether the deaths were caused by patients’ breathing problems or the inhalers has proved difficult.

The stakes for drug makers are high. Advair sales last year were $6.9 billion and may approach $8 billion this year, making the medication GlaxoSmithKline’s biggest seller and one of the biggest-selling drugs in the world. Glaxo also sells Serevent, which had $538 million in sales last year. Symbicort is made by AstraZeneca and Foradil by Novartis.

Whatever the committee’s...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: asthma; fda; health; medicine

1 posted on 12/09/2008 12:01:26 AM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Bookmark


2 posted on 12/09/2008 12:03:12 AM PST by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: neverdem

How about going back to CFC powered pumps, so we’re not sucking in poison when we need to use it?

I continue to say that practically everything bad and wrong in this country can be traced back to the US Congress.


3 posted on 12/09/2008 12:06:32 AM PST by wastedyears ("Al Gore is an apostle of arrogance." - Vaclav Klaus, Pres. of Czech Republic)
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To: neverdem
Maybe I should look for my Dad's old atomizer & adrenaline?

Or maybe see if there's a stray can of Asthmador, or his Asthmador cigarettes? At least it contained belladona, so after he finished coughing, he felt good.

Material(s): Stramonium, Belladonna

Maker(s): Maker: R. Schiffman Co.

Date Made: ca 1940

Place Made: Los Angeles, California

4 posted on 12/09/2008 12:24:07 AM PST by ApplegateRanch (The mob got President Barabbas; America got shafted)
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To: neverdem

no no no!

Advair really helps control my severe asthma symptoms!


5 posted on 12/09/2008 12:24:38 AM PST by kimmie7 (***sigh***)
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To: wastedyears

Even using my neb and xoponex doesn’t maintain my asthma. Advair has been a wonderful help.


6 posted on 12/09/2008 12:25:43 AM PST by kimmie7 (***sigh***)
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To: ApplegateRanch

Funny. In China in the early ‘90s there were popular brands of cigarettes that were advertised to relieve cold and flu symptoms.

And people are smoking other things today in some states in our Union to relieve pain and suffering, eh?


7 posted on 12/09/2008 12:33:15 AM PST by John Leland 1789
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To: neverdem

bump


8 posted on 12/09/2008 12:37:55 AM PST by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: neverdem

Serevent improved my exercise-induced asthma so much that I was actually able to jog 2 miles without stopping. It was wonderful! But a friend of mine, age 28, died in his sleep while using Serevent as part of a study. He died in the middle of the night, while sleeping. The autopsy did not show that he had had an asthma attack or a heart attack. Tox report was negative, too. Cause of death was simply undetermined. I decided to give up the Serevent. I can’t run if I’m dead. I’m getting by now with albuterol and beclomethasone.


9 posted on 12/09/2008 3:41:24 AM PST by ottbmare
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To: ApplegateRanch
Amazing. About forty years ago, my wife and I met a woman in her 90's who told us her mother used to smoke henbane for asthma.

I just shrugged it off, till one day I read the label on a Contac Cold Capsule box.

One of the ingredients was hyoscyamine sulfate...From Hyoscyamus niger, Henbane. One of the Tomato/Nightshade/Belladona family.

So there was something to it. Salicylates from willow bark, reserpine from snakeroot, brucine from goldthread root-It's what they did before they had stainless steel reactors and lobbyists.

10 posted on 12/09/2008 4:50:31 AM PST by Gorzaloon (Roark, Architect.)
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To: kimmie7
Research glutathione's relationship to asthma. Nebulized glutathione sounds interesting.

I once had a chronic asthma-like condition and gave up on doctors as they tried their best but nothing they did stopped it.

That's when I took matters into my own hands. I started by blending honey, ice water, apple cider vinegar and garlic and sipping on it. That did more good than anything else I had done.

Ester C and fish oil are also worth exploring.

I no longer have the condition but I also found during the experience that cough syrups were very dangerous. I had some very bad reactions to them.

11 posted on 12/09/2008 5:09:36 AM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma (When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule the people mourn. Proverbs 29;2)
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To: kimmie7

“Advair really helps control my severe asthma symptoms!”

Mine too! I’m on the 50/100 along with Spriva. I can breathe normally on this.


12 posted on 12/09/2008 5:22:05 AM PST by OpusatFR (Neither Republican or Democrat. Monarchist with allegience to The Only One.)
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To: OpusatFR

My asthma was totally out of control until my allergist put me on Pulmicort. I haven’t used my albuterol in 2 years which amazed him. I can go out an shovel a driveway full of snow without a single symptom.


13 posted on 12/09/2008 6:10:07 AM PST by surrey
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To: OpusatFR

I take Singulair, Claritin, Rescue Albuterol, Advair250 and have a nebulizer and Xoponex for asthma.

I take out the Advair occasionally because of the cost and just don’t have the control. Doc found out and gave me 3 Advair free. Love my doc.

(My insurance is one of those that requires you buy 3 months’ worth from them if it is a maintenance med. I say - forget you! Doc knows that if its not on the $4 list at Wal-Mart he should find something that is or give me lots of samples. Then I pay out of pocket. I do this because I’m on around 10 maint meds with steroids thrown in at least 3x a year. I’m looking into buying direct on the internet — a significant savings!)


14 posted on 12/09/2008 6:49:36 AM PST by kimmie7 (***sigh***)
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To: Conservativegreatgrandma

I will look into it, thank you!


15 posted on 12/09/2008 6:54:41 AM PST by kimmie7 (***sigh***)
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To: ApplegateRanch

Blast from the past!

When I was a kid my uncle gave me one of those cigarettes when I was having an attack.

They work very well, and they were dirt cheap.

Basically just dried and ground leaves of Jimson weed rolled into a cigarette.


16 posted on 12/09/2008 9:32:10 AM PST by EEDUDE
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To: OpusatFR

Advair is the top dog. I take the 500/50 and Spriva, and get around pretty good.


17 posted on 12/09/2008 2:17:25 PM PST by MyFreedomIHoldDear
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To: Gorzaloon; John Leland 1789; EEDUDE
I met a woman in her 90's who told us her mother used to smoke henbane for asthma.

When I was a kid my uncle gave me one of those cigarettes when I was having an attack.

Basically just dried and ground leaves of Jimson weed rolled into a cigarette.

In China in the early ‘90s there were popular brands of cigarettes that were advertised to relieve cold and flu symptoms.

Yes indeed. All herbals that were cheap & that worked. It isn't as if asthma is curable; it is matter of symptomatic relief, so how that is achieved should be up to the individual ADULT; kids, well, that is a different jug of sarsaparilla.

Asthmadore, made with belladona & jimsonweed, was OTC; but Tedral (1/8 grain —8 mg— phenobarbital) required a prescription.

IIRC, Tedral was basically Bronkaid (OTC, but limits on amount sold at a time) with the pheno added.

I need to start poking around the local “organic” and ‘herbal” shops.

Heaven & Congress forbid that we free men treat ourselves effectively, without the help of docs to write the script, the pharmacist to dispense it, the pharms to package it, and, most important of all, the insurance companies to spread the wealth.

18 posted on 12/09/2008 3:56:00 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (The mob got President Barabbas; America got shafted)
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To: ApplegateRanch

I’ve taken Advair for two years and NEVER use my resuce inhaler anyore. In fact, do not even know where it is. It like I do not have asthma anymore. Had it since I was two years old. Used the rescue inhaler evey day for 20 years.


19 posted on 12/09/2008 8:49:30 PM PST by Treeless Branch
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To: ApplegateRanch
I need to start poking around the local “organic” and ‘herbal” shops.

Why? Henbane and Jimson weed grow wild all over North America. Henbane grows in my back yard, Jimson Weed, Datura Stramonium, grows across the street in a field by the edge of the woods, and even the leaves from tomatoes contain the stramonium/Belladonna alkaloids..which is why you are not supposed to eat them. Bittersweet nighshade grows everywhere..it is that little climbing vine peope call a "weed" that has little purple and yellow blossoms that look exactly like minature eggplant blossoms. Same thing for potato leaves.

It is a pretty large class of plants.

20 posted on 12/10/2008 9:47:03 AM PST by Gorzaloon (Roark, Architect.)
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To: Treeless Branch

>I’ve taken Advair for two years and NEVER use my resuce inhaler anyore. In fact, do not even know where it is. It like I do not have asthma anymore. Had it since I was two years old. Used the rescue inhaler evey day for 20 years.<

Technically, those of us “lucky” enough to have asthma are never cured, but your control medications are working beautifully.

Effective control is measured in part by the fact you never have to use your rescue inhaler (c;


21 posted on 12/10/2008 9:52:50 AM PST by Darnright (A penny saved is a government oversight)
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To: wastedyears
How about going back to CFC powered pumps, so we’re not sucking in poison when we need to use it?

The issue is not the CFCs, but the drugs themselves. The idea would apparently be that these particular steroid treatments can have severe side effects.

22 posted on 12/10/2008 9:57:30 AM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb

It’s not the drugs, it’s the propellant.

CFC “harms” the environment, but is okay for the user to use.

HFA doesn’t harm the environment, but it does the user.


23 posted on 12/10/2008 11:31:14 AM PST by wastedyears ("Life's tough... It's even tougher if you're stupid." - John Wayne)
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To: wastedyears
It’s not the drugs, it’s the propellant.

In this case, it's the drugs.

24 posted on 12/10/2008 11:33:39 AM PST by r9etb
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To: Gorzaloon
...a "weed" that has little purple and yellow blossoms that look exactly like minature eggplant blossoms.

My grandfather used to say that a weed was just a plant that no one had figured out a use for yet.

25 posted on 12/10/2008 11:38:59 AM PST by Knitebane (Happily Microsoft free since 1999.)
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To: ApplegateRanch
Thanks! Great info!

Curses on the environmentalist wackos taking meds away from asthmatics!

26 posted on 01/08/2009 4:44:48 PM PST by Dajjal (Obama is an Ericksonian NLP hypnotist.)
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