PHOENIX — Stepping down asthma medicines can be done safely and at less cost for patients says a new Mayo Clinic study published this week in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
It is common for patients and doctors to test out if taki
ng less daily asthma medicine is safe — primarily because of the high cost of asthma medicine. However, deciding when to step down daily asthma medicines can be challenging, and it would be helpful to understand the risks involved.
The study, led by Matthew Rank, M.D., an allergy and immunology specialist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, analyzed asthma outcomes after patients stepped down their daily asthma medicines. The team studied more than 4,000 patients (adults and children) who were taking daily asthma medicines and focused their analysis on two groups: patients who had stable asthma for at least one year who stayed on their same daily asthma medicine and patients who had stable asthma for at least one year who stepped down their daily asthma medicine.
Stepping down asthma medicines in patients who have had stable asthma for at least one year appears to be as safe as continuing the same level of medicines, the study found. Only 11 percent of patients had problems with their asthma in the 4-5 months after stepping down their asthma medicines.
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