Drug combination reduces the risk of asthma attacks
The Phase 3 clinical study, which included more than 3,000 asthma patients from 295 sites throughout the U.S., Europe, and South America, was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a combination of albuterol and budesonide, both AstraZeneca PLC drugs, as a treatment for patients with modest to severe asthma. Albuterol is a short-acting beta 2-agonist that works by attaching to miniscule proteins called beta receptors in the airways, relaxing the muscles there. As a corticosteroid, budesonide decreases swelling and irritation in the airways.

The trial was divided into three groups. With many patients already on daily maintenance asthma therapy, participants in the groups were given one of three different rescue therapies to use, should individuals suffer asthma attacks, that included either a combination of albuterol and a high dose of budesonide or a lower dose of budesonide. A control group was given just albuterol.

Scientists found that albuterol with the higher dose of budesonide reduced the risk of an asthma attack by 27 percent in the short term and reduced asthma attacks by 24 percent annually. This combination also reduced use of corticosteroids, which can have adverse side effects, by 33 percent. The study found a combination of two drugs dramatically reduces the chances of suffering an asthma attack.

Source: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa2203163
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