The Australian Asthma Handbook

Asthma Australia is pleased to welcome an update to The Australian Asthma Handbook (Version 2.1 2020), released by the National Asthma Council, Australia. 

The National Asthma Council’s Australian Asthma Handbook (Version 2.1 2020) sets the best practice guidelines for primary healthcare professionals to diagnose and manage asthma. For a person with asthma, the guidelines set the standard of medical care and treatments they can expect in the hospital, at their doctor, and at the pharmacy.  

For health professionals wanting a more technical overview, you may be interested in the highlights version, found via the National Asthma Council, Australia website. To access a quick overview of the changes, click here.  

There have been some significant changes, particularly for people diagnosed with mild asthma. Asthma Australia is currently developing a Treatment Options Guide to assist people with asthma to understand how the latest updates may impact them. People are empowered to use this guide to receive better health care and understand their asthma. It is important for you to know your options. Additionally, Asthma Australia is currently working on a quick reference guide to the changes in the National Asthma Council’s Australian Asthma Handbook (Version 2.1 2020), which will also be available soon.

New medications

New asthma medications to market: 

  • Fostair - launched 1 December 

(view information brochure on Fostair here).

Fostair is a combination preventer inhaler available by prescription for adults (18 years and older) with moderate to severe asthma. Fostair is not approved for use for people under the age of 18 years. Fostair can be used in two ways:

  1. As a preventer – Prescribed for twice-daily use and accompanied by a rapidly acting reliever (blue/grey reliever) to treat worsening symptoms as needed, and
  2. As a maintenance and reliever therapy – Prescribed for regular twice-daily use and to be used to treat worsening symptoms as needed.

Preventers can take up to a few weeks to work at their best, and it is common that a treatment trial of 4-8 weeks will be prescribed by your doctor to be sure that your prescription is effective at controlling your asthma.

Fostair is not intended for regular use before exercise. If you experience symptoms during exercise or activity, discuss with your health care professional how best to manage your symptoms, the best medications for your situation, and update your written Asthma Action Plan.

It is important to keep taking preventers such as Fostair every day even when you feel well, to keep your airways healthy and maintain ongoing, good asthma control.