Breo was recently approved for patients with asthma. The active ingredients of Breo are fluticasone furoate and vilanterol. Fluticasone furoate is a steroid molecule and vilanterol is a long acting beta agonist (LABA). This is the first “combo” medication for asthma that can be given once a day. Asthma patients may be familiar with Advair which was the first combo asthma medication containing an inhaled steroid and LABA, it comes in 3 dosage forms, (100/50, 250/50 and 500/50). Other combo medications are Symbicort and Dulera. Breo for asthma will be available in 2 dosage forms 100/25 and 200/25. Breo first became available for COPD in 2013 and recently the indication was approved for asthma. Glaxo Smith Kline is the maker of Breo (they also make Advair).
Breo will not be right for every asthmatic patient. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, characterized by coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Patients diagnosed with asthma will need to speak with their asthma/allergy doctor to determine which medication is right for them. Patients with mild asthma who have infrequent respiratory symptoms are usually prescribed albuterol, which is a short acting beta agonist. This is used as a quick reliever medication. All asthma patients should carry around one of those. Common names for albuterol are Ventolin, Proair and Proventil. If a patient has symptoms more than twice a week, they will fall into a persistent category and need a maintenance medication. Common medications used in this category are Aerospan, Alvesco, Asmanex, Flovent and Pulmicort. All of these medications are in the class of inhaled steroids. Singulair or montelukast is a maintenance medication as well, but this is given orally.
Breo for asthma is indicated for patients 18 years and older and it may be good for patients who have difficulty using an inhaler twice a day. As always it is best to speak to your asthma doctor to see if Breo for asthma is right for you.