Medications for asthma are crucial for an asthma patient. Asthma is a severe condition, and if it isn’t managed properly, it can be fatal. While reading through this blog you will get to know the importance of asthma drugs.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the airways by inflaming and narrowing them. Airways are the tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs, and the inflammation makes the airways swollen and sensitive that reacts to certain inhaled substances. Asthma condition may trap any person at any age. Even most children have their first symptoms by age five. The symptoms of Asthma in children can be more serious as they have smaller airways as compared to adults.
However, adults are also at high risk of developing the condition. Coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, and wheezing are some of the symptoms of asthma. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and the choice of medications depends on the severity of the condition. Patients diagnosed with asthma condition may be prescribed quick-relief drugs or long-term medications. Here in this blog, you will get a brief about the medicines for asthma.
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Options of asthma medications:
In order to manage asthma symptoms, medications play a significant role. Although asthma cannot be cured, but it can be managed, if medications are taken as directed. Asthma drugs are prescribed after considering various factors like age, symptoms, severity of the condition and the drug side effects. Below are certain medications that may be recommended to you. These are as follows:
• Controller medications- These drugs are prescribed to prevent asthma attacks. By taking these medications, your airways will become less inflamed and less likely to react to triggers.
• Quick-relief medications- These drugs are also known as rescue medications, as these relax the muscles around the airways.
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To lead a happy and active life, you may be advised to take the right medications at the right time. If your symptoms are not controlled by the above-mentioned drugs then follow the below-mentioned drugs options:
Short-term control medications:
• Quick-relief medications- As the name suggests, quick relief medications provide instant relief to the patients at the time of asthma attack
• . These provide immediate relief because these works by relaxing the muscles that tighten around the airways.
• Ipratropium- Ipratropium immediately relaxes the airways and also makes the breathing easier. However, Ipratropium is widely prescribed for emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but sometimes it treats asthma attacks too.
Long-term control medications:
To keep your asthma under control by restricting the airway inflammation, you may be recommended to use long-term asthma drugs:
• Long-acting beta agonists- Medications like Salmeterol and Formoterol fall in this category. These drugs help asthmatic patients in opening their airways.
• Leukotriene modifiers- These modifiers include medications like Zafirlukast, Montelukast, and Zileuton. All these drugs provide relief to the asthmatic patients by blocking the chemicals that cause inflammation.
• Inhaled corticosteroids- Inhaled corticosteroids include Mometasone, Beclomethasone, and Fluticasone. These drugs are lifesaving drugs that prevent asthma attacks by reducing swelling and mucus production in the airways.
• Immunomodulator- An immunomodulator is an injection given to the patients who have moderate to severe asthma related to allergies.
Other asthma medications- Inhalers and Nebulizers:
Asthmatic patients can get relief from symptoms by taking medications through inhalers and nebulizers. Some of the examples are as follows:
• Asthma inhalers- Asthma inhalers are common and standard handheld devices that deliver medication to the lungs directly. In general, inhalers for asthma are also known as asthma pumps. People can take drugs through inhalers using a metered dose inhaler or dry powder inhaler.
• Nebulizer- Nebulizer turns medication into a fine mist. It transfers larger doses into the lungs as compared to the inhalers.
Over-the-counter asthma medications:
There are over-the-counter (OTC) drugs like Primatene Mist and Bronkaid. These medications provide short-term relief to the patients for about 20-30 minutes of relaxing the muscles around the airways. However, these drugs do not control asthma symptoms or prevent asthma attacks. So, do not rely on over-the-counter medications to control your asthma. In case, you take these asthma drugs and experience frequent symptoms of asthma, then talk to your doctor.
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Guidelines to take asthma medications:
Below given are general guidelines that you should keep in mind before taking asthma medications:
• Always keep a spare asthma drug in case of emergency or when you are running out of a drug
• Make sure to follow the asthma care or action plan
• Always wash your hands, because hygiene is very necessary for keeping you away from other infections or bacteria
• Try double-checking the name and dosage of the medications before using them
• Store the medications as directed
• Make a visit to your doctor and discuss the other medications you are taking or planning to take. As, some drugs don’t work effectively when you take them together.
A universal fact is that asthma can’t be cured, but it can be managed if its symptoms get under control through proper asthma medications. If you follow the guidelines mentioned above, then you can control your Asthma and can lead an active and healthy life.