Should regular use of β agonists be recommended for patients with persistent asthma?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective. To assess the effect of regular β2-agonist use compared with placebo on pulmonary function and β2-receptor function in patients with asthma. Design. Meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled studies of regular β2-agonist use of at least 1-week duration in asthma patients where the placebo arm did not use any β2-agonists. Main outcome measures. Change in mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) (measured at least 6 hours after administration of the last dose of drug), response to subsequent β2 agonist after the study period, provocative challenge causing a 20% reduction in FEV1 (PC20), and in vitro leukocyte β2-receptor density. Main results. Data were available from 22 randomized trials that evaluated 323 participants. Change in mean FEV1 did not differ between treatment and control groups. Compared with placebo, regular β2-agonist treatment reduced peak FEV1 in response to subsequent β2-agonist use (-17.8% [95% confidence interval (CI), -27.2% to -8.5%]), the PC20 to provocative stimuli (-26% [95% CI, -37% to -11%]), and leukocyte β2-receptor density (-18.3% [95% CI, -31.6% to -5.1%]). Conclusion. Regular β2-agonist use in patients with asthma resulted in decreased responsiveness to the drug's bronchodilating effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-415
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Outcomes Management
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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