Article Text

Audit, research and guideline update
Long-acting β-agonist prescribing in people with asthma in primary care
  1. Daniel R Morales1,
  2. Cathy Jackson2,
  3. Shona Fielding3,
  4. Bruce Guthrie1
  1. 1Population Health Sciences Division, Medical Research Institute, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
  2. 2School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, Fife, UK
  3. 3Division of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniel R Morales, Population Health Sciences Division, Medical Research Institute, University of Dundee, Mackenzie Building, Dundee DD2 4BF, UK; d.r.z.morales{at}


Long-acting β2-agonist (LABA) monotherapy is contraindicated in asthma following reports of serious adverse events. Anonymised Scottish health data were used to determine the prevalence of LABA prescribing and LABA monotherapy (sustained and episodic) in asthma during 2006. Of 73 486 asthma patients identified, 5592 (7.6%; 95% CI 7.4% to 7.8%) were prescribed LABAs as a separate inhaler of which 991 patients had LABA monotherapy (17.7% (95% CI 16.7% to 18.7%) of patients at risk). Asthma reviews were associated with reductions in sustained (OR 0.44; 95% CI 0.32 to 0.61) but not episodic monotherapy (OR 1.16; 95% CI 0.85 to 1.57). These findings support recent changes in UK asthma guidelines recommending LABAs in fixed-dose combination inhalers.

  • Asthma
  • Asthma in primary care
  • Asthma Guidelines
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