The FDA has announced that it plans to implement new safety controls for certain asthma medications. According to the FDA the labels for the class of long-lasting asthma drugs known as, long-acting beta-agonists or LABAs, will get an updated label to better inform both physicians and patients of the risks associated with the use of these medications. The label for this class of drugs already includes an “increases risk of asthma-related death” warning.
The FDA says the labels will warn doctors to not prescribe LABAs without the use of another asthma controlling medication, and that drugs should be used only when necessary and should be discontinued after severe symptoms have been controlled.
LABAs are used by about six million asthma sufferers whose symptoms are not controlled by other asthma medications. The FDA wants to see the overall use of these drugs reduced.
In addition to the label change the agency is also requiring the companies to conduct an education campaign aimed at health-care professionals about proper use of the products and to conduct additional studies looking at the drugs’ safety.
The affected drugs will include Glaxo’s Advair and Severent, Novaritis AG’s Foradil, and Astrazenaca’s Symbicort.