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March 14, 1977

Drug Treatment of Acute Asthma

JAMA. 1977;237(11):1141-1143. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270380085029

IN RECENT years, a number of effective regimens for the treatment of acute asthma in both children1 and adults2 have been devised. If there is one system that is clearly superior, such is not evident either from the literature or from my experience. Hence, in addition to a basic regimen, alternate or additional forms of therapy are outlined. Probably, the amount of drugs used early in the course of acute asthma and for a period extending beyond the acute stage is more important than choosing between several drugs. Also, since the severity of asthma may suddenly improve or worsen, it is necessary to frequently monitor the patient's condition and to assess the effects of treatment. It has been shown that a greater likelihood of prolonged treatment, indicating a need for hospitalization, is found in patients who suffer from severe obstruction and respond minimally to initial therapy.3