Formoterol associated with increase in adverse events in asthma, no causative link found

Regular use of formoterol was associated with an increase in non-fatal serious adverse events in patients with asthma.

In a meta-analysis of 22 trials, regular formoterol use was linked to a 57% increase in non-fatal serious adverse events. For every 1,000 asthmatics treated, there would be 16 adverse events with formoterol compared with 10 with placebo.

Salmeterol (Serevent), also a LABA, increases the likelihood of having a non-fatal serious adverse event as well.

There was no increase in adverse events when comparing formoterol with albuterol or terbutaline.

References:
Asthma Drug Linked to Serious Adverse Events, Todd Neale, Staff Writer, MedPage Today.
Cates C, et al "Regular treatment with formoterol for chronic asthma: serious adverse events" Cochrane Database for Systematic Reviews 2008; DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006923.pub2.
Asthma drug formoterol (part of ICS/LABA combo Symbicort and Dulera) causes weight loss when taken orally http://goo.gl/nYsLA
Mometasone/formoterol (Dulera) reduces asthma deteriorations and improves lung function  http://goo.gl/LRRck and http://goo.gl/4S6fn
Mometasone/formoterol 100/10 mcg b.i.d. showed greater clinical efficacy than its individual components in asthma. ERJ, 2012.
Image source: Formoterol, Wikipedia, public domain.

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