Updated handbook includes thunderstorm asthma advice

caution warning danger sign thunderstorm

The National Asthma Council has released version 1.3 of the Australian Asthma Handbook

This revision includes important and timely guidance on treatment implementations of thunderstorm asthma, managing allergic rhinitis in people with asthma, treating patients with asthma-COPD overlap.

The Australian Asthma Handbook has been developed by an interdisciplinary team of medical experts and incorporates feedback from primary care providers. The Handbook is an online resource and searchable by topics.

“It’s important for pharmacists to keep current with asthma best practice by referring to the Handbook for evidence-based guidance and practical advice,” says Dr Jenny Gowan, member of the National Asthma Council Australia Guidelines Committee and pharmacist.

“The timely inclusion of updated thunderstorm asthma and allergic rhinitis advice aims to prepare health care professionals and their practices for the grass pollen season.

“The asthma-COPD overlap information responds to a growing recognition of asthma-COPD overlap as a clinical entity and an emerging body of evidence around its prevalence, diagnosis and treatment.“

Highlights of the version 1.3 Australian Asthma Handbook include:

  • Update of advice on the prevention and management of thunderstorm asthma, including management plans for different risk groups.
  • Update of advice on managing allergic rhinitis in people with asthma, including to recommend the combination of an intranasal corticosteroid (INCS) and intranasal antihistamine for patients whose symptoms are severe or not controlled by INCS alone.
  • Interim advice for treatment for asthma-COPD overlap, emphasising patients with asthma-COPD overlap should be identified and treated differently from people with COPD or asthma alone because they have more symptoms, more flare-ups, greater use of health services, and higher mortality than patients with either condition alone.

The updated Australian Asthma Handbook version 1.3, including a full list of amendments, is available at: www.asthmahandbook.org.au.

Printed copies of the Guide will not be published.

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