Current Drug Therapy

The controversy over long-acting beta agonists: Examining the evidence

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ABSTRACTIn the Salmeterol Multicenter Asthma Research Trial (SMART), patients receiving the long-acting beta agonist salmeterol—particularly African Americans—had a statistically significantly higher risk of fatal or potentially fatal asthma episodes. As a result, medications that contain salmeterol (Serevent, Advair) or formoterol (Foradil) carry a "black box warning." However, the benefits of these drugs continue to outweigh the risks, if they are used appropriately.


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