This article is a guide to Steroids and Asthma Treatment, main types of steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs, inhaled steroids, side effects of inhaled steroids, advantages of using inhaled steroids, side effects of leukotriene modifiers and much more.
Guide to Steroids and Asthma Treatment
The main salvage for many asthmatics are steroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs help not only control the disease, but also prevent asthma attacks.
Steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs reduce the swelling of the respiratory tract and the formation of mucus. Thanks to them, the airways become less sensitive and less responsive to asthma triggers, and this accordingly improves control over the disease.
What are the main types of steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs that help fight the symptoms of the disease?
The best among anti-inflammatory drugs are a steroid or corticosteroid (inhalation or oral), leukotriene modifiers, mast cell stabilizers, immunoglobulin blockers E.
What is inhaled steroids?
Inhaled steroids are the most effective medications that reduce inflammation and mucus formation in the airways. The use of inhaled steroids leads to:
- Increased control of the disease
- Reduction of exacerbation of symptoms and asthma attacks
- Reducing the need for hospitalization
Note that although steroids prevent the exacerbation of symptoms, they do not relieve the already existing symptoms. Doses of inhaled steroids in inhalers may be different.
Inhaled steroids need to be taken daily in order to achieve maximum results. A slight improvement will be noticeable in one to three weeks, the maximum effect will be visible after three months with daily intake.
To inhalation steroids (inhalers) are:
- Advair (a combination of a steroid and a long-acting bronchodilator)
- Symbicort (a combination of a steroid and a long-acting bronchodilator)
Inhaled steroids can be in the following form: a metered-dose inhaler, a dry inhaler and an aerosol.
What are the side effects of Inhaled steroids?
Inhaled steroids are accompanied by a small number of side effects, especially at low doses. At high doses, mycosis of the oral cavity (yeast infection in the oral cavity) and hoarseness may develop, but this happens extremely rarely. To avoid these side effects, rinse your mouth after each use of an inhaler or separator with a metered inhaler. Mycosis is easy to treat with an antifungal rinse.
Inhaled steroids (inhalers) are safe for children and adults. Side effects are few. The attending physician usually prescribes the most minimal dose that will effectively control your illness or your child’s illness.
On the other hand, many parents are skeptical about steroids. Inhaled steroids are not the anabolic steroids that athletes take to build muscle. These are anti-inflammatory drugs, the cornerstone in the treatment of asthma. There are also many other positive aspects in anti-inflammatory inhalers.
What are the advantages of using inhaled steroids?
The advantages of inhaled steroids significantly exceed their negative side and include:
- Reduction in the frequency of asthma attacks
- Reducing the use of beta-agonist-bronchodilators (inhalers that alleviate asthma symptoms)
- Improving pulmonary function
- Reduced cases of emergency call and hospitalization
How does prednisone and systemic steroids work?
The use of systemic steroids (steroids that go not only to the lungs but also to the blood), such as prednisone, helps treat severe exacerbations of asthma. Prednisone and other steroid preparations are used together with other drugs to control sudden and severe asthma attacks or long-term hard-to-control asthma.
Systemic steroids begin to function three hours after ingestion and reach their maximum effect in 6-12 hours. Sometimes prednisone and other steroids are taken in large doses several days (called a steroid splash). They can also be taken in small doses daily or every other day for the treatment of chronic asthma.
Systemic steroids include:
- Medrol, Methylpred, Solu-Medrol (methylprednisolone)
- Deltasone (prednisone)
- Prelone, Pediapred, Orapred (prednisolone)
Side effects of systemic steroids may occur only after taking for several months or even years and include: the appearance of acne, weight gain, mood or behavior change, abnormality of the stomach, bone fragility, blurred vision, slow growth. These side effects rarely occur with short-term admission, for example, to stop an asthma attack.
How do leukotriene modifiers affect the improvement of asthma symptoms?
Accolate, Singulair and Zyflo are modifiers of leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are substances that are present in our body and cause spasm of muscle tissue around the respiratory tract and the formation of excessive amounts of mucus and fluid. The modifier of leukotrienes helps to control the course of asthma, blocking the work capacity of leukotrienes in the body. Studies have shown that these drugs are very effective in improving oxygen circulation in the airways and reducing the exacerbation of asthma symptoms.
Modifiers of leukotrienes are taken in the form of tablets four times a day and reduce the need for other drugs. This medicine is especially effective for people suffering from allergic rhinitis, as well as for people suffering from allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma at the same time.
What are the side effects of leukotriene modifiers?
The most common side effects of leukotriene modifiers are headache and nausea. Modifiers of leukotriene may affect the effects of certain other drugs (eg, theophylline and antithrombotic drugs). Your doctor must be aware of all the medicines that you are taking at the moment.
What are mast cell stabilizers?
Mast cell stabilizers, for example, Intal and Tilate, are inhalants (inhalers) that prevent the formation of irritating and inflammatory substances in cells of the immune system called mast cells. Stabilizers effectively prevent exacerbation of asthma symptoms, especially in children with allergies and asthma, and in people with asthma exertion. For maximum results, these drugs should be used two to four times a day for three to four weeks.
These inhalers are safe and have very few side effects. Tilate can cause dry throat and unpleasant taste in the mouth.
How can immunoglobulin E blockers improve asthma control?
Xolair, an immunoglobulin E blocker, works completely differently than other anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat asthma. Xolair blocks immunoglobulin E (allergic antibodies) before it can cause an asthma attack. Anti-immunoglobulin therapy significantly reduces the severity of symptoms of severe and moderate forms of asthma.
Xolair, a prescription medicine, is taken in the form of injections every two to four weeks. It is recommended for people who have asthma symptoms that do not respond to inhaled steroids.