ANCHOR LEAD: PEOPLE WITH MILD ASTHMA MAY BE ABLE TO TAKE MEDICINE LESS OFTEN, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
People with asthma that is classified as mild may be able to take medicines to control the condition only when they feel they need them, a recent New England Journal of Medicine study concludes. Romi Saini, as asthma expert at Johns Hopkins, offers these caveats.
SAINI: I think the message has to be clear: these are very mild patients. They have very minimal decrease to normal lung function but all the features of somebody with a history of asthma who shouldn’t be bothered that often anyway with their asthma if one looks at how frequently they come to the doctor’s office or the emergency room, so it’s in this category that we can step down and go to as needed asthma treatment. I would not say the studies have been done in the more severe populations, people who have symptoms nightly or during the day as well. :31
People with asthma shouldn’t try decreasing their dosage on their own, but should first talk with their doctor about a stepwise reduction. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.