In the U.S., asthma accounts for 1-3% of all office visits, 500,000 hospital admissions per year, more pediatric hospital admissions than any other single illness, and >5000 deaths annually.
The pharmacotherapy of asthma employs drugs aimed at reducing airway inflammation (i.e., antiinflammatory agents) and drugs aimed more directly at decreasing bronchospasm (i.e., bron-chodilators). To these ends, six classes of therapeutic agents are presently indicated for asthma treatment: b adrenergic receptor agonists, glucocorticoids, leukotriene inhibitors, chromones, methylxanthines, and inhibitors of immunoglobulin E (IgE).
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