CLINICAL PEARL- HYPOKALEMIA IN AN ASTHMATIC
Check how often your asthma patient is using his beta agonist, as excessive use can drive potassium into the cells. In that case, asthma management may require increased inhaled steroid or at least the initiation of moderate to more severe approaches.
—Patrick Lollis, MD, Easley, S.C.
In addition to hypokalemia, increased use of a beta agonist may be a marker of worsening asthma control. In a clinical trial of patients taking long-acting beta agonists, increased inhaler use was associated with risk of sudden death. Sudden changes in any beta-agonist use should trigger an urgent assessment of overall disease control.
—R. Stephen Tharratt, MD, MPVM (107-21)