If you or a person close to you have asthma, it is very important to know everything about the most effective drugs of quick and prolonged action. Understanding the methods of treatment will allow you and your doctor to get maximum results in managing the symptoms of asthma.
Treatment of Asthma
If an asthma attack or an exacerbation of symptoms begins, it is very important to understand when to call a doctor to prevent the need for hospitalization. Carefully read the sections and articles described below. After that, you will have a deep understanding of what asthma is and how it is treated.
Medications for asthma
Medications can save a life – and give the chance to lead a normal active life in spite of asthma. There are two main types of medications that are used to treat asthma:
Steroids or other anti-inflammatory drugs
Anti-inflammatory drugs, especially inhaled steroids, play a big role in the treatment of asthma. These drugs prevent asthma attacks and reduce swelling and mucus formation in the airways. As a result, the respiratory tract becomes less sensitive and less responsive to asthma triggers.
Bronchodilators relieve asthma symptoms by relaxing the muscle tissue surrounding the airways.
Inhaled bronchodilators of rapid action are used to quickly get rid of coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath (they dilate or open the bronchi). Most often, when choosing a bronchodilator of rapid action, doctors prescribe albuterol. However, the action of albuterol lasts only a few hours. If you have to use medications more than twice a week, then asthma is out of control and you need to see a doctor.
Long-acting inhaled bronchodilators are often used in combination with inhaled steroids in the case of exacerbation of asthma symptoms more than once a week, despite the use of inhaled steroids alone.
Inhalers are the most common and effective way of transferring medication to the patient’s lungs. There are several combinations of inhalers, which contain two different medications: an inhaled steroid and a long-acting bronchodilator. This combination is very popular due to its convenience and the duration of the drug (up to 12 hours).
If you have problems using small inhalers, your doctor may prescribe an aerosol, also known as a breathing apparatus. Aerosol with a mask is often prescribed to babies, small children, the elderly and anyone who has difficulties in using inhalers with a separator. Aerosol turns the liquid medicine into dust, so that it is easier to breathe it into the lungs. This procedure lasts a little longer than using inhalers.
Prednisone and asthma: stop an asthma attack
If you have a serious asthma attack (exacerbation of the disease), the doctor can prescribe the intake of prednisone tablets for a period of 14 days. Prednisone (or prednisolone) is the most powerful (and most effective) currently available asthma medicine, but it has side effects. When using prednisone for less than two weeks, side effects can be temporary and minor, but with admission for several months, side effects can be quite serious and permanent. Usually, after successfully treating several severe asthma attacks, the physician starts working with the patient to minimize his prednisone needs in the future. Taking an inhaled corticosteroid daily is the most effective method in this case.
Talk with your doctor
If asthma is diagnosed, and the treatment does not give a visible result, it’s time to turn to your doctor again. There are many new drugs. Identify a new medicine or a new method that will help you to breathe freely again and return to a normal lifestyle. In addition, if you have to use the inhaler too often with a diagnosis of asthma, you should also consult your doctor. It is necessary for the doctor to prescribe another medicine to eliminate the inflammatory processes. Only a doctor can identify problems and make the right decision – and you will feel better again.
Although asthma is a fairly common disease, it causes serious breathing problems that require serious medical intervention: a correct diagnosis and effective treatment. Do not hesitate to ask for help. Talk to your doctor and he will prescribe the treatment that works best.