The overuse of short-acting beta-2 agonists (SABA) among patients with asthma in three countries of Latin America

05 May 2022
Respiratory conditions
  • Asthma
Type of resource
  • Asthma Right Care
Malaga 2022
Juliana Franceschini Pereira, GEPRAPS
Clinical Research Results Abstract Introduction: Overuse of short-acting beta-2 agonists (SABA), which do not treat the underlying inflammation of asthma, is linked to poor clinical outcomes such as increased exacerbation risk. This study presents the prevalence of SABA overuse from three countries of Latin America.Methods: Cross-sectional study using anonymized data from a survey carried out by telephone or in person, with customers who bought SABA for asthma or asthma-like symptoms, at independent pharmacies selected randomically in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. Demographic and behavior data (SABA purchase, number of puffs taken on one day, presence of symptoms on survey day, use of other medications and seeing a doctor for the respiratory condition) were collected. SABA overuse was defined as ≥3 purchased inhalers during the last 12 months, assuming that SABA acquisition is related to SABA use. The sample was stratified into two groups according to SABA use and the groups were compared using the ANOVA and Pearson's qui-square tests. Results: A total of 175 patients aged ≥ 18 years who purchased ≥ 1 SABA over-the-counter from March 2019 to January 2020 were included. The prevalence of people purchasing ≥ 3 inhalers was 59.4% and almost 13% have purchased ≥12 SABA canisters in the past 12 months. The number of people taking other medications was higher in the SABA overuse group (p=0.014). Additionally, the prevalence of symptoms was higher between people taking other medications (72.7 with symptoms vs 27.3 without symptoms - p<0.001).Conclusions: SABA purchase was prevalent among people in the three analyzed countries. SABA overuse was associated with asthma symptoms even in patients who used other medications. These findings highlight the importance of SABA usage monitoring to improve asthma management. Additional research is necessary to understand the reasons behind the SABA overuse. Research Idea Abstract Service Development & Evaluation Abstract Declaration of Interest References and Clinical Trial Registry Information