FDA: Risks of new asthma drugs vary

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration says Advair, a widely used asthma drug, does not appear to have an increased risk of serious complications seen with some newer medicines.

The agency analyzed reams of clinical data on four drugs: Advair, Foradil, Serevent, and Symbicort. All carry strong warnings already, but the findings could lead to more specific instructions for patients.

The FDA is concerned about asthma drugs known as LABAs, long-acting medications that relax tight muscles around stressed airways. LABAs can increase risks of death and complications in some patients. But the risk is less when LABAs are used together with a steroid to treat underlying inflammation inside airways. Advair combines both kinds of medicine in an inhaler.

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