Asthma update

boy using inhaler and spacer

The National Asthma Council Australia has released a major update of its online Australian Asthma Handbook

Guidelines Committee Chair and general practitioner Professor Amanda Barnard says Handbook version 2.0, which was developed by an interdisciplinary team of clinical experts, continues to set the standard for asthma management for the 2.7 million Australians with the condition.

“This update’s focus on paediatric asthma advice reflects the different diagnosis and management approaches required across childhood,” says Professor Barnard, “with the expanded severe asthma and management challenges sections providing guidance on the latest advanced treatment options alongside practical strategies for exploring uncontrolled asthma from an individual patient perspective.”

Also included in the revision is the latest evidence on primary prevention of asthma and updated guidance on managing acute asthma in clinical settings.

“The Handbook is an evidence-based practical resource for GPs, pharmacists and nurses that supports a team approach to improve asthma outcomes in partnership with patients and their families.

“While limited updates have been published in recent years, this edition is the first major review of the Handbook since it went online in 2014 and marks the 8th edition of asthma guidelines produced by the National Asthma Council Australia,” says Professor Barnard.

The Australian Asthma Handbook continues to be endorsed by health professional peak bodies working in asthma, including the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

Highlights for pharmacists include changes to guidance on managing asthma in children, including separate recommendations on treating children aged one to five, and six and up; new evidence and advice for management of acute asthma; addition of information about costs of asthma medicine and strategies for minimising costs to patients; and updated guidelines on prevention of thunderstorm asthma.

The Australian Asthma Handbook 2.0 and a list of amendments are now available at:

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