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20 August 2012 09:13
The drug could reduce dependence on inhalers, according to researchers
A new drug which suppresses inflammation of the lungs could reduce the number of emergency hospital visits among asthma sufferers by 50%, according to researchers.
Scientists from Leicester University discovered mepolizumab may allow patients with severe asthma to become less dependent on traditional steroid inhalers.
The GlaxoSmithKline-funded study looked at 621 severe asthmatics with signs of eosinophilic inflammation, with the findings reported in The Lancet.
Participants were randomly allocated one of three doses of mepolizumab: 75mg, 250mg, or 750mg, or a placebo on a monthly basis for a year.
Professor Ian Pavord and his team found the treatment could reduce severe asthma attacks and admissions to hospital or A&E by up to 50% when compared with the dummy drug.
Prof Pavord said: "Mepolizumab is potentially an important advance because it seems to be a safe and effective treatment option for patients with eosinophilic asthma that is associated with frequent flare-ups, and may reduce the need for conventional treatment with oral corticosteroids that can have serious side effects including osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and impaired growth in children."
The findings come at a time when many people are taking holidays abroad - those of us who suffer from asthma are advised to arrange
pre-existing medical travel insurance before jetting off.
Mepolizumab is not yet licensed in Britain.
24 September 2016
Slim people who look physically healthy may still be at increased chance of being diagnosed with bowel cancer if they have raised insulin levels, according new research.
23 September 2016
Theresa May is being urged to give the go-ahead for flights to resume between the UK and Sharm el-Sheikh by the head of the cross-party parliamentary group on Egypt.
22 September 2016
Budget airline Jet2.com is to open its first base in the south of England at Stansted.
21 September 2016
Smoking rates have dropped to the lowest level on record in England, new figures show, suggesting messages about the health effects of cigarettes are hitting home.
20 September 2016
Concerns have been raised over flight disruptions caused by heavy drinking among passengers.
17 September 2016
British Airways' decision to launch direct flights from London to Tehran earlier this month positions Iran as one of the hottest destinations to visit in 2017, according to experts.
16 September 2016
More than 100 flights have been cancelled as French air traffic controllers go on strike again.
15 September 2016
Two thirds of MPs would support an expansion at Heathrow.
14 September 2016
TripAdvisor is launching a new homepage, making the booking of holiday activities and tours even easier.
13 September 2016
Travellers are to be charged to use fast lanes to get through passport checks in an attempt to cut queues.
09 September 2016
People travelling to regions affected by the Zika virus outbreak should practise safe sex for at least half a year upon their return, health leaders say.
08 September 2016
British Airways is apologising to passengers for delays after an IT glitch hit check-in systems.