Clinical updates on the management of asthma

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The American journal of managed care


Asthma is a complex airway disorder that involves multiple inflammatory cells and cellular elements. Genetic and environmental factors result in recurrent episodes of the symptoms of asthma: coughing, wheezing, breathlessness, and chest tightness. Left untreated, these initial symptoms can transform into exacerbations ranging from spontaneous reversible airflow obstruction and airway remodeling to death. As a result, the need for novel therapeutic options for the treatment and long-term management of asthma has become increasingly vital. Some therapies that have been developed in recent years include medications with longer half-lives that can lead to increased adherence, agents biologically altered to decrease side effects, therapies targeting specific pathways within the inflammatory response, the application of radiofrequency, and long-term administration of agents to increase or boost the immune system. Each option represents an individualized treatment approach to managing patients with asthma. Healthcare practitioners need to be educated about these new therapeutic options so they can properly and safely manage their patients' regimens. Mechanisms of action, clinical trial data, and current market availability for each medication are highlighted to provide pharmacists with the fundamental knowledge necessary to effectively and safely treat patients suffering from asthma.

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