Cold and Flu Season Can Be Worse for People With Asthma and COPD

Teva Respiratory Launches New Resource

Jan 27, 2010, 17:15 ET from Teva Respiratory

HORSHAM, Pa., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- While cold and flu season is always unpredictable, this year is already one of the worst to date with flu outbreaks across the nation stemming from the arrival of the H1N1 virus and another wave of seasonal flu on the horizon. People with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at higher risk of developing severe respiratory symptoms if they contract a cold or the flu, and those with asthma account for about one-third of all people hospitalized with H1N1 flu. To help asthma and COPD patients and their caregivers learn more about what they can do this winter, Teva Respiratory today announced the launch of a new educational resource called

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"Being prepared for the cold and flu season is critical for people with asthma and COPD because even a minor respiratory infection can trigger or worsen symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness, which can last for days or even weeks," says Erwin W. Gelfand, MD, Chair of Pediatrics at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colo. "In addition to getting their flu shots, there are things people with asthma and COPD can do to help protect themselves and their loved ones this winter."

For general information about asthma and COPD, as well as links to other cold and flu resources, visit The site also provides an asthma/COPD action plan, tips for getting through the cold and flu season, and key questions to ask your doctor, which patients can print and bring with them to check-ups to ensure they get the most out of each visit.

"The key is anticipation and prevention rather than reacting," adds Dr. Gelfand. "During cold and flu season, it is even more important that people with asthma or COPD take their long-term controller inhaler as prescribed by their physician to reduce airway inflammation even if they're not experiencing symptoms of cold or flu. They should also have a rescue medication such as albuterol with them at all times for quick relief of symptoms that may flare up. It's also a good idea to have an extra inhaler on hand just in case. During cold and flu season, the symptoms of asthma may appear, and require rapid medical attention."

Equally important is checking the expiration date on all inhalers, particularly rescue inhalers, so patients know their medications are ready to use when needed. People with asthma and COPD also need to know that not all inhalers are designed to have the same features. includes information on key items those with asthma and COPD should consider when discussing treatment options with their doctor. For example, some albuterol inhalers expire in 12 months while others can be used for 24 months, allowing more time to use all 200 doses. Patients should talk to their healthcare provider about which inhaler options best fit their treatment needs.

For more information on asthma, COPD and this year's cold and flu season, visit

About Asthma

Asthma is a chronic (long-term), treatable lung disease that causes inflammation and constriction of smooth muscle around the large and small airways (or bronchial tubes). When something sets off or triggers an asthma attack, like cold or flu, airways become inflamed and swollen, and the muscles around the airways tighten (bronchospasm). Symptoms of asthma include wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing that often occurs at night or early in the morning. Without appropriate treatment, asthma symptoms may become more severe and result in an asthma attack, which can lead to hospitalization and even death.

Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts in childhood. In the U.S., more than 22 million people are known to have asthma, including more than 6 million children. Each year in the U.S., asthma causes approximately 500,000 hospitalizations, 134 million days of restricted activity and 4,000 deaths.

About COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is caused by damage to the lungs over many years, usually from smoking. COPD is often a combination of two diseases - chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Symptoms include daily cough, shortness of breath, excess sputum (mucus) production and wheezing.

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. The condition affects more than 12 million Americans and the number is on the rise. It is estimated that another 12 million may have COPD but not realize it.

About ProAir® HFA

ProAir® HFA (albuterol sulfate) Inhalation Aerosol is indicated in patients 4 years of age and older for the treatment or prevention of bronchospasm with reversible obstructive airway disease and for the prevention of exercise-induced bronchospasm.

Important Safety Information

If your symptoms become significantly worse when you use ProAir® HFA, contact your doctor immediately. This may indicate either a worsening of your asthma or a reaction to the medication, which may rarely occur with the first use of a new canister of ProAir® HFA. Either of these could be life-threatening.

What to tell your doctor before using ProAir® HFA: If you have a heart, blood, or seizure disorder, high blood pressure, diabetes, or an overactive thyroid, be sure to tell your doctor. Also make sure your doctor knows all medications you are taking – especially heart medications and drugs that treat depression – because some medications may interfere with how well your asthma medications work. Do not exceed the recommended dose.

Side effects associated with ProAir® HFA include headache, rapid heartbeat, pain, dizziness, and irritation of the throat and nose.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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About Teva Respiratory

Teva Respiratory is the U.S.-based respiratory subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., headquartered in Israel, is among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world and is the leading generic pharmaceutical company. The company develops, manufactures and markets generic and innovative human pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Over 80 percent of Teva's sales are in North America and Europe.

Teva's Safe Harbor Statement under the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking statements, including, among other things, regarding our expected profitable growth, revenues, net income, the drivers and contributors of this growth, strategy and competitive advantages, which express the current beliefs and expectations of management. Such statements are based on management's current beliefs and expectations and involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause our future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include risks relating to: our ability to successfully develop and commercialize additional pharmaceutical products, the introduction of competing generic equivalents, the extent to which we may obtain U.S. market exclusivity for certain of our new generic products and regulatory changes that may prevent us from utilizing exclusivity periods, potential liability for sales of generic products prior to a final resolution of outstanding patent litigation, including that relating to the generic versions of Neurontin®, Lotrel®, Protonix® and Eloxatin®, the current economic conditions, competition from brand-name companies that are under increased pressure to counter generic products, or competitors that seek to delay the introduction of generic products, the effects of competition on our innovative products, especially Copaxone® sales, including potential oral and generic competition for Copaxone®, dependence on the effectiveness of our patents and other protections for innovative products, the impact of consolidation of our distributors and customers, the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and pending legislation that could affect the pharmaceutical industry, our ability to achieve expected results though our innovative R&D efforts, the difficulty of predicting U.S. Food and Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency and other regulatory authority approvals, the uncertainty surrounding the legislative and regulatory pathway for the registration and approval of biotechnology-based products, the regulatory environment and changes in the health policies and structures of various countries, supply interruptions or delays that could result from the complex manufacturing of our products and our global supply chain, our ability to successfully identify, consummate and integrate acquisitions, the potential exposure to product liability claims to the extent not covered by insurance, our exposure to fluctuations in currency, exchange and interest rates, significant operations worldwide that may be adversely affected by terrorism, political or economical instability or major hostilities, our ability to enter into patent litigation settlements and the intensified scrutiny by the U.S. government, the termination or expiration of governmental programs and tax benefits, impairment of intangible assets and goodwill, environmental risks, and other factors that are discussed in this report and in our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC").

SOURCE: Teva Respiratory is a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd.


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