The United States ranked 29th in the world in infant mortality in 2004, compared to 27th in 2000, 23rd in 1990 and 12th in 1960, according to a new report from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. infant mortality rate was 6.78 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004, the latest

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Death from asthma is uncommon. Available mortality statistics for the United States indicate a death rate of approximately 0.3 per 100,000 persons.

The available information on the clinical course of asthma suggests that somewhere between 50 to 80 percent of all patients can expect to have a reasonably good prognosis, particularly those whose disease is mild and develops in childhood. The number of children still having asthma 7 to 10 years after the initial diagnosis varies from 26 to 78 percent with an average of 46 percent; however, the percentage who continue to have severe disease is relatively low (6 to 19 percent). The natural course of asthma in adult life has been little investigated. Some studies suggest that spontaneous remissions occur in approximately 20 percent of those who develop the disease as adults and 40 percent or so can be expected to improve with less frequent and severe attacks as they grow older.

About the medication for Asthma

If a patient is diagnosed with asthma, the first thing that the doctor will do is to check the level of the infection, whether mild or severe. After that, the doctor will find ways to keep matters in control, in the sense that there will be no more attacks in future as well as subside the symptoms of the condition including wheezing, and having trouble breathing. Since there is no cure for asthma, the best way would be to tackle it from its symptoms.

Two types of medication are available for asthma patients – long-term and quick relief, also known as rescue medications. The long-term medication is aimed at controlling the condition and is more effective compared to the quick relief medication. One feature of long-term medication is that it is taken daily to subdue the symptoms of the disease.

On the other hand, the quick relief medication is used for the instances when an attack hits. That is when there is an urgent need to open up the swollen and blocked airways. You have probably seen many people using an inhaler in such situations. Other than the inhaler, patients may be given pills and other liquid form medications for the same purpose.

Some examples of long-term control medications include:

Leukotriene modifiers

They work by blocking the production of leukotriene, the chemical responsible for the inflammation of the airways. As a result, there will be no production of mucus that blocks the passage of air to the lungs, and with easy passage of air comes to no attacks.

Combination inhalers

These inhalers involve the inhalation of a steroid that works as a long-acting bronchodilator, which keeps the airways open for a long time. Examples include Albuterol, Diskus, Advair, and Symbbiocort.

Long-acting beta agonists

These are chemicals with working capabilities of adrenaline. They are used in keeping the air passages open and preventing any blocking of the same. They can work for more than 12 hours. Despite their effectiveness, they should not be used for long.


This is a group of controller medications with a chemical combination that can be related to caffeine. This gives them the ability to keep the airways open for a long time.

The quick-relief medications include the following:


They work by inhibiting the works of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The result is keeping the airways open for long. Although it takes long to work, it lasts for a significant period in opening the air passages.

Short-acting beta agonists

Commonly known as bronchodilator inhalers, they are used to relieve the patients from wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and tightness of the chest. When used, the medication dilates the airways to make breathing possible and easy. Some examples are Pirbuterol, Albuterol, and Levalbuterol.

Other types of medications available include allergy induced medications which include immunotherapy and allergy medication; bronchial thermoplasty, and asthma nebulizer also known as the breathing machine. Most of these medications have proven to be effective in treating the symptoms of asthma. You have to be consistent when prescribed to use any of the above.

In less than 3 months, life-saving albuterol inhalers used by nearly 40 million patients with respiratory disorders will no longer be sold. After December 31, 2008, it will no longer be permissible to manufacture or sell albuterol inhalers in the U.S. that contain chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellants, because they destroy the Earth’s ozone layer. These inhalers

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On December 11, 2008, the Joint Advisory Committees of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - including the Drug Safety & Risk Management Advisory Committee, the Pediatric Advisory Committee, and the Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee - completed a review of the benefits and risks of asthma medications containing long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs). The committees concluded

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The following is GlaxoSmithKline’s statement regarding recommendations of a combined Advisory Committee to the FDA on the use of asthma medicines containing long-acting beta agonists, including GSK’s Serevent (salmeterol) and Advair (salmeterol/fluticasone proprionate). “We welcome the committee’s endorsement of Advair as a safe and effective treatment for asthma in adults and children,” said Dr. Ellen

Full Post: GlaxoSmithKline statement on FDA advisory committee vote on use of asthma medicines containing long-acting beta agonists

Women can usually keep using the same asthma drugs they were using before they got pregnant. Budesonide sprays are the best studied and can be regarded as safe. More trials of other essential medicines are necessary however. According to the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), more data from trials could

Full Post: Pregnant women with asthma can be more confident about some medicines

Two non-surgical, non-pharmacological treatments for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) both appear effective in reducing medication use and improving voice and swallowing symptoms, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Surgery. One type of therapy also appears effective for reducing heartburn and cough, whereas the other may be associated with a reduction

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