Use of antiasthmatic drugs in Australia

M. A. Jenkins, S. F. Hurley, G. Bowes, J. J. McNeil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Bronchodilator prescription and sales data for Australia from 1975 to 1986 were analysed. Inhaled β-agonists were the most commonly prescribed antiasthmatic agents in 1986, followed by sustained-release theophylline and inhaled corticosteroids. Marked increases in prescription sales of these three drug groups over the period were noted. We estimate that non-prescription sales of salbutamol inhalers increased by 410% between 1980 and 1986 (P < 0.01). Prescribing rates by general practitioners for β-agonists, sustained-release theophylline and inhaled corticosteroids increased from 1979 to 1986. Prescribing rates of β-agonists were highest for persons aged 1-11 years and 55 years and over, and increased markedly for children aged 1-11 years over the period. For sustained-release theophylline, prescribing rates were highest for persons 55 years and over. The difficulties in postulating possible relationships between prescribing trends and asthma mortality are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes

Cite this