Friday Links – Dulera Approval, It May Not Be Asthma, Fireworks

FDA Approves Dulera, a New Combination Inhaler
Like Advair and Symbicort, the Dulera inhaler contains both a corticosteroid and a long-action beta agonist. According to this article, you should be able to find it in the U.S. soon.

New Anti-Inflammatory Possibly on the Horizon
For patients who can’t get much relief or control from inhaled steroids, this new protein-based therapy, tested in mice, holds some hope.

On the other hand, you’ve got a small chance that persistently uncontrolled asthma may not be another problem entirely:

NEJM Discusses a Benign Tracheal Tumor’s Asthmalike Symptoms
While the passage notes the condition is rare, it also stands a reminder not to rule out other issues that can mimic the symptoms of asthma. Check out the last sentence: “a lack of response to first-line therapies warrants further investigation, including spirographic analysis.”

Finally and because of the Fourth of July in my country this Sunday,

A Gallery of Unusual Fireworks
How Fireworks Work

Happy Independence Day, U.S. readers, and enjoy your weekend, everyone. ETA: Happy Canada Day to my northern readers – you know who you are!

16 responses to “Friday Links – Dulera Approval, It May Not Be Asthma, Fireworks”

  1. Sarah says:

    Speaking of celebrations, I did something yesterday that probably caused my bad day today – I went out and stood on a freshly-cut grassy field on a windy night downwind of where they were setting up fireworks. In the downtown area. On one of the worst traffic days this city has all year.

    You know what, though? I regret nothing. Canada day (and, for you guys, Independance Day) comes all of once a year. I don’t care if the field has been freshly cut, if the best view is downwind of the sulfuric fumes or if the traffic is insane. I’m going to the celebration, I’m going to watch the fireworks, and I’m going to have a damn good time. And if I pay for it the next day, so be it. Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. *shrug*

    As for Duelera, it seems interesting, but I can’t tell what else they have to offer those of us who need ICS/LABA therapy. Advair and Singulair are both really good and well-tolerated, and in the competetive pharma industry, it’s never enough to just say, “Look, we have this new drug!” You need to also be saying, “And you should take/prescribe it because of research results x, y, and z.” If they want to break into the combination inhaler market, they need to give people incentive to switch over, in terms of superior research results or safety when compared to the results of their competitors.

    As for the tracheal tumor story, that’s part of why I’m being referred to a respirologist! Hopefully, she/he can rule out other conditions. I’m also thinking of asking that I get tested for GERD: I don’t have chronic heartburn (though I do get it sometimes), but silent GERD is common in uncontrolled asthmatics, so that may have something to do with it.

  2. Amy says:

    Good idea re: GERD. You know, AG doesn’t get much heartburn either, but she does have recurring nausea/vomiting episodes and an endoscopy when she was 5 revealed some digestive inflammation but not any in her esophagus – it surprised her drs. since so many asthmatics also have reflux. Instead, her gastritis doesn’t seem to trigger her at all – she just has to take short courses of Prilosec or Prevacid every once in awhile.
    (And Happy Canada Day! Somehow I forgot that in this post, despite seeing it all over Twitter this week–fixing that now.)

  3. Sara C. says:

    Sarah, definitely get tested for GERD…my mother suffered from “asthma” most of her adult life, only to be diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis from untreated, silent GERD. The damage to her lungs is irreversible. If you have it, and get it treated, it can save you even more trouble later in life.

    I also agree with you, that sometimes, you need to just do something, and deal with it. I do it sometimes with knowingly exposing myself to migraine triggers. I am not supposed to eat cheddar cheese or anything with MSG but I love cheese, and packaged french onion dip (though, not together)…sometimes, it’s worth the migraine.

    I hope you didn’t pay for it too much.

    My friend and I were discussing the new drug last weekend. She works for Merck, and was telling me about how it was basically a dead drug in the pipeline of a company that Merck bought. It came up when we were discussing that it’s going to drop with a black box warning…like all LABA’s have. (it’s not a drug that she worked on, though, so she has no information about it)

  4. Elisheva says:

    Happy Independence Day, Amy! I totally didn’t realize today is 4th of July til I saw it in Sus’s blog of all things. Thanks for reminding me! Hope y’all enjoy the celebrations!

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