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Common asthma drug saves patients money, trips to hospital

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The most effective and intensive medication treatment for asthma isn't the drug most commonly prescribed for that disease, a new study has found.

After analyzing 18 months' worth of insurance claims data for three asthma medications, researchers found that the most effective of the medications cost nearly two to three times less than the other drugs.

Patients taking the asthma drug fluticasone propionate (sold under the brand name Flovent) had fewer hospitalizations, made fewer trips to the emergency room and had less of a need for additional medications to help control symptoms than did patients taking the other two drugs, said Dev Pathak, a study co-author and a professor of pharmacy at Ohio State University.

Fluticasone propionate is an inhaled corticosteroid - it reduces inflammation in tissues affected by asthma, namely nasal passages and bronchial tissues. The researchers compared fluticasone propionate to the drugs montelukast (Singulair) and zafirlukast (Accolate). Both belong to a class of drugs called leukotriene receptor blockers - drugs that help decrease the inflammation induced by asthma.

Although the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends that patients w
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Contact: Dev Pathak
Pathak.1@osu.edu
614-688-3956
Ohio State University
10-Apr-2002


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