Asthma Management Guidelines 2020 Focused Update: What’s In It For You?
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* The National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute coordinated this update
* Recommendations were published on December 1, 2020.
* It Focuses on six areas:
….Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide Testing
….Indoor Allergen Mitigation
….Intermittent Inhaled Corticosteroids
….Immunotherapy in the Treatment of Allergic Asthma
* Only four of these six areas have immediate implications for asthma disease management in primary care.
* I’ll review the recommendations briefly here.
- These guidelines are not as wide-ranging as those developed and released in 2007.
- The new recommendations are based on reviews of the scientific literature and the use of the GRADE methodology for assigning a level of certainty (Low, Moderate, or High) for each recommendation.
- Of the six areas, only numbers 2, 3, 5, & 6 have practical implications for primary asthma care.
- The full guidelines: 2020 Focused Updates to the Asthma Management Guidelines:…
- I have put together a quick-read summary of the recommendations. I have only included recommendations that have moderate or high certainty of benefit for patients.
Indoor Allergens: Pillow covers and mattress bags to seal in allergens are recommended if you have symptoms. (Moderate Certainty)
Allergy Shots: SCIT (Subcutaneous Immunotherapy) is recommended for adults and children (>5 yr) with mild to moderate allergic asthma as long as they have lab or skin testing data to support the allergy. (Moderate Certainty).
Wheezing in Kids: Children from ages 0-4 yr with recurrent wheezing (3 x /year), triggered by colds and URI’s should have a short course (7-10 days) of inhaled corticosteroid at the onset of a new wheezing episode. (High Certainty).
In ages 4+ with moderate to severe-persistent asthma, a combination inhaler containing formoterol and steroid can be used as both a daily controller and as a rescue medicine. (Moderate to High Certainty).
In ages 12 + with mild persistent asthma, inhaled corticosteroids should be used daily, either along with rescue albuterol or in a combination inhaler that includes albuterol. (Moderate Certainty).
This approach to wheezing is referred to as Single Maintenance And Reliever Therapy (SMART).
UPDATE (3/17/22): Today, the FDA approved a generic inhaler containing formeterol and budesonide (the components of Symbicort)! This will put SMART inhaler use within the price reach of asthma sufferers 5 years of age and older.
In age 12 + yr with uncontrolled, persistent asthma, Long Acting Muscarinic Antagonist (LAMA) medicine can be added to Inhaled Corticosteroid (ICS) for better control. (Moderate Certainty).
I have devoted a full page to discuss how these recommendations will affect my asthma care plans in further detail.
If you have questions about asthma management or want to update your asthma action plan and medication prescriptions, grab an appointment and let’s talk!
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