Which medications in the drug class Long-Acting Beta2-Agonists are used in the treatment of Pediatric Asthma?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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Long-Acting Beta2-Agonists

Long-acting bronchodilators (LABA) are not used for the treatment of acute bronchospasm. They are used for the preventive treatment of nocturnal asthma or exercise-induced asthmatic symptoms, for example.

Salmeterol is the only single-agent LABA available in the United States that is approved for asthma. Salmeterol and formoterol are available as combination products with inhaled corticosteroids that are approved for asthma in the United States (Advair, Symbicort, Dulera).

LABA may increase the chance of severe asthma episodes and death when those episodes occur. Most cases have occurred in patients with severe and/or acutely deteriorating asthma; they have also occurred in a few patients with less severe asthma.

LABAs are not considered first-line medications to treat asthma. LABAs should not be used as isolated medications and should be added to the asthma treatment plan only if other medicines do not control asthma, including the use of low- or medium-dose corticosteroids. If used as isolated medication, LABAs should be prescribed by a subspecialist (ie, pulmonologist, allergist).

Salmeterol (Serevent)

This long-acting preparation of a beta2-agonist is used primarily to treat nocturnal or exercise-induced symptoms. It has no anti-inflammatory action and is not indicated in the treatment of acute bronchospastic episodes. It may be used as an adjunct to inhaled corticosteroids to reduce the potential adverse effects of the steroids. The medication is delivered via a Diskus DPI.

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