Study shows adherence to pulmicort respules, results in fewer ER visits in asthmatic children

05/24/05

New data presented at 100th American Thoracic Society International Conference

San Diego, Calif. – May 24, 2005 – Young children who are adherent with asthma controller therapies overall, and specifically PULMICORT RESPULES® (budesonide inhalation suspension), have lower exacerbation rates, while those less adherent did not experience the same benefits , according to new data presented today at the 100th American Thoracic Society International Conference.

This study examined the relationship between patient outcomes and medication adherence with controller therapies, such as PULMICORT RESPULES, a nebulized inhaled corticosteroid used in the management of asthma. Patients who were more adherent (as defined by two or more prescriptions in the one year period) to controller therapy had a decrease in exacerbations (23.2% vs 16.8%), while those less adherent had a smaller decrease (23.1% vs 19.1%). Specifically, patients more adherent to PULMICORT RESPULES therapy had a decrease in exacerbations (25.3% vs 18.6%); while those less adherent did not (20.1% vs. 20.8%). Exacerbation was defined as one or more emergency department (ED) visits or hospitalizations during a nine-month period.1

Pediatric asthma is a serious problem in the United States and is the most common reason for children to be hospitalized2. Children with asthma have higher rates of disability, higher healthcare use, and incur greater healthcare costs than children without asthma3.

"Adherence to medication, or correctly taking your medicines is a big problem with pediatric asthma, which is why it continues to be a serious health threat," said Don A. Bukstein, M.D., Director of Allergy and Asthma Research, Dean Medical Center, Madison, WI. "This study shows that increased adherence can mean better asthma control and less time spent in the ER and hospital. And that is important because times spent in the ER or hospital can be a traumatic and costly experience for children and parents."

The study looked at 11,407 patients; of them, 1,281 used a controller medication and 553 used PULMICORT RESPULES. All patients in this study were four years of age or younger, diagnosed with asthma, and were currently using some type of asthma medication.1

About Pulmicort Respules®(budesonide inhalation suspension)
PULMICORT RESPULES is a medication delivered to children by a nebulizer, making the delivery more consistent. It is the first and only inhaled nebulized corticosteroid approved for children with asthma 12 months to 4 years of age.

PULMICORT RESPULES is indicated for children aged 12 months to 8 years.

PULMICORT RESPULES is a preventive type medicine. PULMICORT RESPULES is not a quick-relief medicine (bronchodilator) and should NOT be used to treat an acute asthma attack.

In clinical studies, the side effects experienced with PULMICORT RESPULES and how often they happened were similar to what was experienced with a non-medicated mist (placebo). These side effects included respiratory infection, runny nose, coughing, earache, viral infection, stomachache, oral thrush and nosebleeds. If a child is exposed to chicken pox or measles, consult your child's health care professional. If a child is switching to PULMICORT RESPULES from an oral (syrup or pill) corticosteroid, carefully follow the health care professional's instructions. This will help your child avoid health risks that may be linked with stopping the use of oral corticosteroids.

For more information on the symptoms and triggers of asthma, as well as potential treatment options, parents can visit www.everydaykidz.com.

About Childhood Asthma
Approximately 6.3 million children under 18 years of age have asthma, which makes it the leading serious chronic illness among children.4 In the year 2000, asthma resulted in 728,000 ED visits and 214,000 hospitalizations in patients under age 18,4 and ED and hospitalization rates were highest among children 4 years of age and younger,5 despite improvements in currently available asthma medications. Experts are unsure why this is the case, although one potential indicator is the lack of awareness and education about childhood asthma. Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15.6

Although asthma can be a life-threatening disease if not properly managed, the mild to moderate asthma that most asthmatic children have can be controlled by treatment at home or in the doctor's office.6

Common symptoms of childhood asthma include coughing either constant or intermittent; wheezing or a whistling sound audible when your child exhales; shortness of breath or rapid breathing, which may or may not be associated with exercise; and chest tightness.4 Asthma triggers range from smoke, airborne molds, pollens, dust, animal dander, exercise, cold air, many household and industrial products, air pollutants, scents or simple stress.6

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of over $21.4 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, oncology and neuroscience products. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $9.6 billion healthcare business with more than 12,000 employees. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.

For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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