Every Breath You Take: Serevent Can Make Asthma Problem Worse

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Seattle, WAEnter the brand name, Serevent on a [website] that allows people to rate the effects of various prescription drugs and you get 22 different ratings. On a scale of one to five, with five being "very satisfied" and one being "dissatisfied", Serevent warrants an average ranking of 2.5—a surprisingly good rating, considering that Serevent occasionally kills people instead of curing them.

According to Annals of Internal Medicine , asthma "is a disease that is usually caused by inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Inflammation makes the muscle cells that surround the bronchial tubes tighten up and narrow the bronchial air passages, making it difficult for an asthmatic person to breath."

Fortunately, a category of inhaled medicines called long-acting beta-agonists is available to combat this condition. Serevent --an inhaled bronchodilator medicine for asthmatics made by UK pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline-- is one of the most popular long-acting beta-agonists on the market. Serevent, and drugs like it, allow bronchial muscles to relax, which in turns allows asthmatics to breath normally.

Unfortunately, these medications have a nasty side effect: in rare cases, they can make an asthmatic's condition even worse.

Annals of Internal Medicine published a damning study of Serevent and other asthma medications in its June 2006 issue. Researchers at Stanford and Cornell Universities conducted the study.

"The researchers reviewed all of the available articles on the subject [of beta-agonists and asthmatic patients] that had been published in medical journals between 1996 and 2005," explains Annals.

Researchers examined a total of 19 studies that featured 33,826 asthmatic patients who were taking either long acting beta-agonists or a placebo. The academics discovered that "patients receiving long-acting beta-agonists were more than 2.5 times more likely to be hospitalized and about two times more likely to have life-threatening asthmatic attacks than those receiving placebo."

"Death from asthma occurred relatively rarely," continues Annals. "However, asthma-related deaths occurred about 3.5 times as often in patients receiving long-acting beta-agonists as in those receiving placebo."

The people who took the time to rate Serevent at are also well aware of the risks posed by this medicine.

A 56 year-old woman made the following entry in early 2006: "Long-term use (four years) gave me a feeling of relief at first but then made my lungs more sensitive to stimuli. I now react with asthma bronchial constriction, inflammation and mucus production from just about anything."

This patient rates Serevent a lowly one out of five.

The FDA also knows about the dangers of Serevent and medicines like it. They sent out a warning to physicians even before the damning study in Annals of Internal Medicine.

"On November 18, 2005, FDA alerted health care professionals and patients that several long-acting bronchodilator medicines have been associated with possible increased risk of worsening wheezing (bronchospasm) in some people and requested that manufacturers update warnings in their existing product labelling," reads a note from the FDA.

Serevent currently contains a warning label stating that use of the drug "may increase the risk of asthma-related death."

Which is not the kind of statement that would make anyone breathe easier.

Serevent Legal Help

If you have or a loved on has suffered from life threatening complications while using Serevent, please contact a [Serevent Lawyer] who will review your case at no cost or

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