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Monday, May 30, 2011

The once a day asthma medicine

All we asthmatics yearn for it:  a once a day medicine.  Thus was the topic of a recent post by me at

Asthmatics want once a day medicine

A few years ago I asked Santa for a medicine I called One Puff. It's an asthma preventative medicine you take once in the morning and then you're done for the day.

Needless to say, come Christmas 2010 this new asthma wonder medicine was not under my tree. It wasn't in my stocking either.

Actually, the One Puff does not exist. It remains a figment of my imagination. However, in light of a new survey of asthmatics, it appears I'm not the only asthmatic who yearns for such an ideal asthma medicine.

The survey (as you can read here) was completed by Decision Resources and revealed that as many as 55 percent of asthmatics would "eagerly" switch to a once-a-day asthma drug that had at least a "similar efficacy" to the medicine they are currently on.

In fact, the more likely someone is to request this switch increases with worsening asthma control. This could be because those with worse asthma tend to be those who require medicine more often and tend to miss doses.

This hits home with me because as recently as 1997 I was prescribed four puffs of Azmacort four times a day, 600 mg of Theophylline twice a day, Drixoral every four to six hours, and if I managed to be compliant with all that my asthma was still only so-so controlled.

Then my doctor introduced me to twice-a-day Advair and once-a-day Singulair and it's now much easier to control my asthma. Still, there are days when a dose is missed. Of course those are the days of diminished asthma control.

Still, none of this is enough medicine to make it so my asthma triggers don't trigger asthma. For instance, if I venture into the basement to work on a project I've had going on down there for several years now, my asthma acts up. There's no medicine available to prevent that.

However, thanks to new asthma wisdom, and modern asthma medicine, we asthmatics now have many options available to help us better control our asthma. Yet, as this study reveals, many of us continue to yearn for something like my fictitious One Puff.

The more often you have to use a medicine, the easier it is to miss doses. So if you could just take one puff in the morning while brushing your teeth, and have that control your asthma, then that would be ideal.

Of course the problem with modern medicine is cost, and that is a topic for another post.

The study also revealed that only 5 percent of asthmatics would request a switch to a new asthma treatment that would result in "improved" asthma efficacy, yet would require a once daily intravenous injection. In fact, greater than 50 percent said they would be very unlikely to request such a switch.

I just thought this research was interesting. It was probably done to help pharmaceutical companies and scientists determine how they should focus their research for new medicine to help asthmatics. Where should they focus their dollars?

According to this survey, the answer is on a medicine like One Puff.

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Anonymous said...

Yes, asthmatics would love that!
Do you happen to know the name of an asthma medicine that was available in the 1950s. It was inhaled; when you inhaled, a little ball bearing ran up a clear tube in the inhaler, and hit the side of a little capsule. There were tiny holes in the bottom of the capsule, and when the ball bearing hit it, white powder was knocked out, which you inhaled.
It was a very effective medicine, giving excellent relief, and it worked almost instantly.
Unfortunately, it carried cardiac risks, and was taken off the market.
I no longer remember what it was called--do you happen to know what it was, by any chance?

Pissed Off Patient said...

First, I took 18 puffs a day of Azmacort. You weren't on a high enough dose.

I'm okay with twice a day meds. It's the three-a-day dosing that kills me, as I'm learning now with this antibiotic I'm on.