Feb 21, 2010 10:18 AM by Jamie Smith
The food and drug administration is warning against over-use of certain asthma drugs. The medications are in the class of long-acting beta agonists, or LABA's. the FDA says the drugs should be used for the shortest time possible to control asthma.
Officials say research has shown the medications may actually worsen symptoms leading to life-threatening situations in some cases. Advair, Symbicort, Serevent and Foradil are included in this warning. They work by relaxing the muscles in the airways.
Doctors say problems could arise if the muscles are so relaxed that the patient doesn't know when inflammation is building, leading to a massive asthma attack.
The FDA urges patients to talk to their doctors before discontinuing any medications, but suggests the LABA medications should be used only until asthma symptoms are under control. Patients can then continue to use inhaled corticosteroids.