Short-acting β2-agonist prescription patterns in patients with asthma in Turkey: results from SABINA III

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Yorgancıoğlu A., Aksu K., Naycı S. A., Ediger D., Mungan D., Gül U., ...More

BMC Pulmonary Medicine, vol.22, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12890-022-02008-9
  • Journal Name: BMC Pulmonary Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Asthma, Exacerbations, Prescriptions, Short-acting β2-agonists, Turkey
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


Background: Over-reliance on short-acting β2-agonists (SABAs) is associated with poor asthma outcomes. However, the extent of SABA use in Turkey is unclear owing to a lack of comprehensive healthcare databases. Here, we describe the demographics, disease characteristics and treatment patterns from the Turkish cohort of the SABA use IN Asthma (SABINA) III study. Methods: This observational, cross-sectional study included patients aged ≥ 12 years with asthma from 24 centres across Turkey. Data on sociodemographics, disease characteristics and asthma treatments were collected using electronic case report forms. Patients were classified by investigator-defined asthma severity (guided by the 2017 Global Initiative for Asthma [GINA]) and practice type (primary/specialist care). The primary objective was to describe SABA prescription patterns in the 12 months prior to the study visit. Results: Overall, 579 patients were included (mean age [standard deviation; SD]: 47.4 [16.1] years; 74.3% female), all of whom were treated by specialists. Most patients had moderate-to-severe asthma (82.7%, GINA steps 3–5), were overweight or obese (70.5%), had high school or university/post-graduate education (51.8%) and reported fully reimbursed healthcare (97.1%). The mean (SD) asthma duration was 12.0 (9.9) years. Asthma was partly controlled/uncontrolled in 56.3% of patients, and 46.5% experienced ≥ 1 severe exacerbation in the preceding 12 months. Overall, 23.9% of patients were prescribed ≥ 3 SABA canisters in the previous 12 months (considered over-prescription); 42.9% received no SABA prescriptions. As few patients had mild asthma, only 5.7% were prescribed SABA monotherapy. Therefore, most patients (61.5%) were prescribed SABA in addition to maintenance therapy, with 42.8% receiving ≥ 3 SABA canisters in the previous 12 months. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), ICS + a long-acting β-agonist fixed-dose combination and oral corticosteroids were prescribed to 14.5%, 88.3% and 28.5% of all patients, respectively. Additionally, 10.2% of patients purchased SABA over the counter, of whom 27.1% purchased ≥ 3 canisters in the preceding 12 months. Conclusions: Despite all patients being treated by specialists and most receiving fully reimbursed healthcare, nearly a quarter of patients received prescriptions for ≥ 3 SABA canisters in the previous 12 months. This highlights a public health concern and emphasizes the need to align clinical practices with the latest evidence-based recommendations.