AstraZeneca announces Airsupra (albuterol/budesonide) for adults with asthma is now commercially available in the United States by prescription. 

Airsupra received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in January 2023 for the as-needed treatment or prevention of symptoms of asthma and to help prevent sudden severe breathing problems (asthma attacks) in people aged 18 years and older.

Airsupra contains a short-acting beta2-agonist (SABA) to help relax the smooth muscles of the airways and an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) to help decrease inflammation in the lungs. Airsupra was approved based on the results from two phase 3 trials, MANDALA and DENALI. In MANDALA, Airsupra was superior to albuterol in reducing the risk of severe asthma exacerbations in patients with moderate to severe asthma. In DENALI, Airsupra had a similar onset of bronchodilation compared to albuterol in patients with mild to moderate asthma.

The approach to treating asthma symptoms with rescue has changed. The 2023 Global Initiative for Asthma report supports a rescue approach that treats both symptoms and inflammation together. Combination SABA/ICS is now recommended as a rescue option for adults with asthma regardless of ICS maintenance medication. According to the report, recommendations for a change in rescue approach were largely based on the risk associated with SABA-only treatment of asthma. 

Airsupra is the only FDA-approved, as-needed SABA/ICS asthma rescue now available in the US and is designed to treat both symptoms and inflammation, according to a release from AstraZeneca. 

“For over five decades, the medical community has used SABA-only rescue which does not address the inflammatory component of asthma. Now, with Airsupra available we can provide patients, especially those on maintenance therapy, another rescue option for managing their breakthrough symptoms,” says Priya Bansal, MD, physician and CEO of Asthma and Allergy Wellness Center, in a release. “The MANDALA study has demonstrated how these patients can benefit from an as-needed anti-inflammatory rescue to treat their symptoms while helping to prevent an attack even if they are on ICS-containing maintenance therapy.”

Photo caption: Airsupra

Photo credit: AstraZeneca