Media Releases

Visit version 1.3 of the Australian Asthma Handbook

5 Dec 2017

Updated Asthma Handbook includes new evidence-based guidance for asthma best practice

The National Asthma Council today released version 1.3 of the Australian Asthma Handbook. This revision includes important and timely guidance on the identification and management of thunderstorm asthma, clinical interrelationship between asthma and allergic rhinitis, and the diagnoses and management of patients with asthma-COPD overlap.

The Australian Asthma Handbook has been developed by an interdisciplinary team of medical experts and incorporates feedback from primary care providers.  The Handbook is an online resource and searchable by topics.

Professor Amanda Barnard, Chair of the National Asthma Council Australia Guidelines Committee and general practitioner said:

“It’s important for general practitioners to keep current with asthma best practice by referring to the Handbook for evidence-based guidance and practical advice.

“The timely inclusion of updated thunderstorm asthma and allergic rhinitis advice aims to prepare health care professionals and their practices for the grass pollen season. The asthma-COPD overlap information responds to a growing recognition of asthma-COPD overlap as a clinical entity and an emerging body of evidence around its prevalence, diagnosis and treatment.“

Highlights of the updated Australian Asthma Handbook version 1.3 include:

  • Update of advice on the prevention and management of thunderstorm asthma, including management plans for different risk groups.
  • Update of advice on managing allergic rhinitis in people with asthma, including to recommend the combination of an intranasal corticosteroid (INCS) and intranasal antihistamine for patients whose symptoms are severe or not controlled by INCS alone.
  • Interim advice for treatment for asthma-COPD overlap, emphasising patients with asthma-COPD overlap should be identified and treated differently from people with COPD or asthma alone because they have more symptoms, more flare-ups, greater use of health services, and higher mortality than patients with either condition alone.

The updated Australian Asthma Handbook version 1.3, including a full list of amendments, is available at: The corresponding Quick Reference Guide v1.3 is also downloadable as a PDF from the website. Please note that printed copies of this Guide will not be published. 

The National Asthma Council’s recently published standalone information papers on thunderstorm asthma, managing allergic rhinitis in people with asthma, and asthma-COPD overlap are available at

The National Asthma Council Australia maintained strict editorial independence in developing these resources. The Handbook’s revision was partially supported by unrestricted educational grants from sponsors Boehringer Ingelheim and Novartis.


Media enquiries

For further information, or to arrange an interview with a National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson, please contact: 

Lelde McCoy, The Reputation Group

Tel: 03 92341205        Mob: 0417362768

Email: [email protected]