VIENNA, Va., Nov. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Many asthma patients are prescribed oral corticosteroids (OCS) to treat moderate-to-severeflares and decrease the risk of emergency department (ED) visits or hospitalizations, but with chronic use comes the potential for serious health risks. Allergy & Asthma Network is partnering with allergy and asthma patient advocacy groups, medical
Asthma is a chronic lung condition affecting more than 22 million Americans. Five to 10 percent of the total asthma population are believed to have severe asthma. There is no cure for asthma, but a range of conventional and advanced medications can help control symptoms.
A recent Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) survey of 519 patients with asthma found that nearly 85 percent used at least one course of OCS in the previous 12 months and 64 percent had done so two or more times. Patients who take two or more courses of OCS in a 12-month span may have severe or poorly controlled asthma and should speak with a qualified asthma specialist.
Oral corticosteroids are a common treatment for acute asthma flare-ups. While the medication has been shown to reduce ED visits and hospitalizations, it may be used chronically in severe asthma patients.
Short-term risks associated with OCS overexposure include elevated eye pressure (glaucoma), fluid retention, high blood pressure, weight gain and problems with mood, memory and behavior. Long-term risks include cataracts, infections, osteoporosis, high blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes, thin skin, bruising, and a slower healing process for wounds. While OCS can be an important tool in managing asthma in certain cases, their use should always be carefully monitored by an asthma specialist or a primary care provider with expertise in asthma.
In recent years, new and innovative treatments have emerged, targeting certain types of severe or difficult-to-control asthma in ways never before possible and reducing chronic use of oral corticosteroids by severe asthma patients. OCS are relatively inexpensive, fast-acting and easy for patients to access; they remain attractive to payers, patients and other stakeholders within the healthcare system. Without an organized approach to intervention, it is believed that OCS overexposure will persist.
The collaborative is urging for a systematic effort to curb OCS overexposure by:
Read the full Oral Corticosteroid Stewardship Statement, with the complete list of patient advocates, medical professionals and industry stakeholders, at https://bit.ly/2PwFR7z.
About Allergy & Asthma Network
Allergy & Asthma Network is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. Allergy & Asthma Network specializes in sharing patient-friendly, medically reviewed information through its award-winning Allergy & Asthma Today magazine, AllergyAsthmaNetwork.org website, E-newsletter, and numerous community outreach programs.
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Contact: Gary Fitzgerald Allergy & Asthma Network703-641-9595 gfitzgerald@AllergyAsthmaNetwork.org
View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/patient-advocates-medical-professionals-and-industry-stakeholders-unite-to-curb-oral-corticosteroid-overexposure-in-asthma-treatment-300750882.html
SOURCE Allergy & Asthma Network
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