MHRA reissues LABA advice

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a reminder to prescribers on the use of long-acting ß2 agonists.

LABAs are indicated for long-term use and not to relieve acute asthma symptoms.
LABAs are indicated for long-term use and not to relieve acute asthma symptoms.

The advice is consistent with the guidelines issued by the British Thoracic Society and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. It reminds prescribers:

  • To prescribe long-acting β2 agonists (LABAs) only with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and when ICS alone fail to control asthma symptoms.
  • Not to initiate LABA treatment in patients with rapidly deteriorating asthma.
  • To use the lowest effective dose, review treatment regularly, and discontinue if there is no benefit.
  • To consider stepping-down when good long-term asthma control is achieved.
  • Not to prescribe LABA for exercise-induced asthma without regular ICS (a short-acting β2-agonist should be used instead).
  • To prescribe combination inhalers when appropriate.

See the MIMS summary of BTS/SIGN asthma guidelines for more information.

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