Increased Medication Burden for Patients With Both Asthma and Allergies

When patients have both asthma and allergies, their need for asthma medication increases compared with patients with only asthma.
When patients have both asthma and allergies, their need for asthma medication increases compared with patients with only asthma.

This article is part of MPR's coverage of the ACAAI 2018 meeting, taking place in Seattle, Washington. Our staff will report on medical research related to allergy, asthma, and more conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from ACCAI 2018.


SEATTLE — Patients with both asthma and allergies (either hay fever or seasonal) required a greater quantity of asthma-related prescriptions when compared with patients with only asthma, according to a poster presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Scientific Meeting, held November 15 to 19, 2018, in Seattle.

Researchers of this retrospective study analyzed data from the Observational Study of Asthma Control and Outcomes to evaluate the medication burden of patients with asthma, both with and without allergies. Patients who were ≥12 years, had persistent asthma, and answered a set of 4 surveys about allergies during a 15-month time frame were included in this study.

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Of the 2681 patients with persistent asthma, 36.2% had allergies. Patients with both asthma and allergies had a significant increase in the number of prescriptions dispensed for controller medications (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.22; P <.001), inhaled corticosteroids (IRR, 1.16; P<.001), high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (IRR, 2.50; P =.01), oral corticosteroids (IRR, 2.31; P<.001), and short-acting beta agonists (IRR, 1.18; P =.003). The odds of chronic use of oral corticosteroids (odds ratio, 16.15; P =.02) and burst oral corticosteroids (odds ratio, 2.37; P <.001) were also significantly increased for this population.  

Compared with patients with only asthma, those with asthma and allergies who reported exacerbations had a higher likelihood of requiring oral corticosteroids (odds ratio 1.98; P<.01).

The researchers concluded that when patients have both asthma and allergies, their need for asthma medication increases compared with patients with only asthma. Healthcare professionals may need to provide “more vigilant clinical oversight to ensure adequate control.”

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Reference

Sullivan P, Lanz M, Ghushchyan V, et al. Medication use patterns in asthmatic patients with and without allergies. Presented at: the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology; November 15-19, 2018; Seattle, WA. Poster P225.