The controversy over long-acting beta agonists: Examining the evidence
David M. Lang, MD
Head, Allergy and Clinical Immunology Section, Department of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Cleveland Clinic
Address: David M. Lang, MD, Allergy and Clinical Immunology Section, Department of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, C22, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Lang has disclosed that he has received honoraria, consulting fees, or other benefits for teaching, speaking, consulting, or conducting research for the AstraZeneca, Centocor, Critical Therapeutics, Genentech, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, MedPointe, Merck, Sanofi-Aventis, and Schering-Plough/Key corporations.
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.