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Centralising complaints a terrible idea, say GPs

Taking oral or inhaled steroids as required for symptom relief could be as effective as continuous treatment for mild persistent asthma, US researchers suggest.

Their study found intermittent treatment with steroids and courses of daily treatment produced similar increases in morning peak expiratory flow of around 7.8 per cent and similar rates of asthma exacerbations.

The trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week, randomised 225 patients to three groups ­ intermittent steroids or daily treatment with budesonide or zafirlukast.

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