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The treatment of acute severe asthma in the adult: an overview


Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways affecting 5%–7% of the US and European populations. It accounts for nearly 400,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths per year. Acute asthma comprises those asthmatics with severe symptoms, despite attempts at appropriate control. Typically these patients will present to a local emergency department for evaluation and treatment. This review examines the pharmaceutical treatment options made available to these patients in emergency settings, including their risks, benefits, side effects and overall effectiveness. (Formulary 2003;38:537–543.)

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