Popular asthma drugs do little to help the disease in children, a new study has found. Long-acting beta2-agonists (LABAs) such as salmeterol and formoterol are often given as an add-on therapy to complement inhaled corticosteroids - but a new study has found they do not offer any additional benefit.
Worse, LABAs can also endanger the life of the child. They can increase the risk of a life-threatening adverse reaction in adults, and doctors fear the dangers could be far greater in children.
The researchers say that LABAs should neither be used as the sole therapy in cases of asthma, nor in combination with inhaled corticosteroids.
(Source: Evidence-Based Child Health, 2008; 3: DOI: 10.1002/ebch.282).