Asthma: Biologic Benralizumab (FASENRA) Reduced Need For Rescue Medication

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Asthma Inhaler” by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0Sean O’Quinn MPH
Director, Patient Reported Outcomes
AstraZeneca 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does benralizumab differ from traditional medications for asthma?

Response:  FASENRA™ (benralizumab 30mg for subcutaneous injection as add-on maintenance therapy in severe eosinophilic asthma for patients 12 years and older) has a strong clinical profile, including powerful efficacy against exacerbations and the ability to improve lung function. Benralizumab is a respiratory biologic that binds directly to the IL-5α receptor on eosinophils and attracts natural killer cells to induce rapid and near-complete depletion of eosinophils via apoptosis. (NOTE: The mechanism of action of FASENRA in asthma has not been definitively established.) Benralizumab is not indicated for treatment of other eosinophilic conditions or for relief of acute bronchospasm or status asthmaticus. The most common adverse reactions include headache and pharyngitis.

Dependence on rescue medications is indicative of poor asthma control. In the Phase III SIROCCO/CALIMA trials, patients with severe eosinophilic asthma had significantly reduced exacerbation frequency and improved lung function when treated with benralizumab 30mg Q8W (first three doses Q4W) vs. placebo.

Less was known about the effects of benralizumab on rescue medication usage—specifically daily total rescue medication use, daytime and nighttime rescue medication use, and nighttime awakenings requiring rescue medication use. The aim of this analysis was to understand the potential treatment effects of benralizumab on these parameters.  Continue reading

Quadrupling Inhaled Steroids May Abort Some Asthma Attacks

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Asthma Inhaler” by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0Timothy Harrison, MBBS, BSc, FRCP, MD, MSc
Professor and Honorary Consultant
Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
University of Nottingham

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Self management plans are recommend for patients with asthma but previous studies have shown that doubling the dose of inhaled steroids when asthma starts deteriorating is ineffective at preventing the development of an exacerbation.

This study shows that quadrupling the dose is effective and in a real-life setting can reduce severe exacerbations by about 20%

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Majority of Asthma Patients Do Not Use Inhalers Correctly

Rana Suzette Bonds, MD The University of Texas Medical BranchMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rana Suzette Bonds, MD
The University of Texas Medical Branch

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Bonds: Both anaphylaxis and asthma can be life threatening disorders requiring prompt treatment. Each disorder can be successfully treated with medication which is delivered by devices designed for self-administration. Unfortunately there has been evidence in the literature that patients frequently do not use the devices appropriately. We sought to determine which factors were associated with incorrect use of metered dose inhalers and epinephrine autoinjectors, and to determine if rates of correct use have improved since earlier reports.

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings?

Dr. Bonds: Sixteen percent of patients used the epinephrine autoinjector properly and 7 percent of patients used the metered dose inhaler correctly. The most common error with the autoinjector was not holding the unit in place for at least 10 seconds after triggering. For patients using the metered dose inhaler the most commonly missed step was exhaling to functional residual capacity or residual volume prior to actuating the canister. Male sex, Caucasian race, and previous medical education correlated with correct use of epinephrine autoinjector device.

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COPD: Combination Long-Acting Beta Agonists with Inhaled Steroids Leads To Fewer Hospitalizations

Andrea Gershon MD, MSc, FRCP(C) Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Respirologist, Division of Respirology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto ICES Central Bayview Avenue, Toronto, OntarioMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Andrea Gershon MD, MSc, FRCP(C)
Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Respirologist, Division of Respirology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto
ICES Central Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Gershon: Within a large real world population of people with COPD, those who initiated combination long-acting beta-agonists (LABA) and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) were less likely to die or be hospitalized for COPD than those who initiated LABA alone. Further those who initiated LABA/ICS combination therapy did not appear to have more pneumonia or osteoporotic fractures – side effects that have been associated with ICS use—than those initiating LABA alone.

A second interesting finding was that people with a co-diagnosis of asthma experienced a greater incremental benefit of LABA/ICS over LABA than people without a co-diagnosis of asthma.

Finally, we found that people who were not also taking an inhaled long-acting anticholinergic medication experienced a greater incremental benefit of LABA/ICS over LABA than people who were.
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