Use of Asthma Controller Meds on the Rise Among U.S.
THURSDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The percentage of children
with asthma in the United States who use a prescription
"controller" medicine has nearly doubled since the late 1990s, a
new federal government report finds.
The analysis of data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
showed that the use of controller drugs by these children increased
from 29 percent in 1997-1998 to 58 percent in 2007-2008, according
to the latest
News and Numbers from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research
Asthma controller drugs include: corticosteroids, which control
inflammation and reduce the risk of airway spasms; beta-2-agonists,
which make breathing easier; and leukotrienes, which help prevent
asthma symptoms from occurring.
Use of inhaled corticosteroids among American children with
asthma increased from 15.5 percent to 40 percent, use of
leukotrienes rose from 3 percent to 34 percent, and use of beta
agonists rose from 3 percent to 13 percent, according to the
During the same period, the use of reliever and oral
corticosteroid drugs fell from 44 percent to 30 percent and from 17
percent to 9 percent, respectively, the investigators noted in an
agency news release.
Average annual total spending for all asthma drugs more than
quadrupled, from $527 million in 1997-1998 to $2.5 billion in
2007-2008. When broken down by category, spending for controller
drugs rose from $280 million to $2.1 billion, spending for reliever
drugs increased from $222 million to $352 million, and spending for
oral corticosteroids fell from $25 million to $8 million, the
The American Lung Association has more about
children and asthma.
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