Common asthma drug saves patients money, trips to hospital

s. Patient data was used only if the patient hadn't taken any of the three drugs for the first nine months, followed by nine months of using one of the prescribed medications.

"Our findings are based on real-world data," Pathak said. "We analyzed the data after doctors had already prescribed one of the three drugs to their patients."

Patient data was split into three groups, based on the drug prescribed: 284 patients used fluticasone propionate in either 0.044 or 0.110 milligram doses; 302 used montelukast in 5 and 10 milligram doses; and 195 used zafirlukast in 20 milligram doses. The latter two drugs were taken in tablet form.

The average total cost of asthma care for a patient using fluticasone propionate during the nine-month period was $528. The cost was nearly double for montelukast users ($967), and it nearly tripled for zafirlukast users ($1,359). Total cost included filling prescriptions, trips to doctors' offices and emergency rooms, hospitalizations and the need for additional medication to control asthma symptoms.

The use of fluticasone propionate was also linked to fewer hospitalizations and less of a need for additional medication to control asthma symptoms - the data showed that patients could get by longer on a regimen of fluticasone propionate alone.

"An inhaled corticosteroid, which fluticasone propionate is, should be considered the first line of therapy in patients with symptoms of

Contact: Dev Pathak
Ohio State University

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