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.

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
Mometasone/formoterol (Dulera) reduces asthma deteriorations and improves lung function and
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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