Controlled-release salbutamol tablets (Volmax - Ventolin CR) have superseded the now obsolete Ventolin Spandets. This new preparation, marketed as two brands by subsidiaries of Glaxo in pseudo-competition, is a sustained-release formulation designed to provide smooth release of salbutamol over 12 hours allowing twice daily dosage. The manufacturers list as indications “all forms of reversible airflow limitation”, but most would regard inhaled β2 agonists and corticosteroids as the best treatment for these conditions. Given the efficacy and safety of these inhaled drugs it is questionable what the aim of oral treatment would be. What then, is the role of controlled-release salbutamol tablets?
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