Common Medications Used To Treat Asthma
Once you are diagnosed with asthma, you are going to have to learn quite a bit about the medications that you will have to take. You may also want to take the initiative and learn about all of the different meds that are commonly used to treat asthma. The following guide will help you know a little about the most commonly used types of medications prescribed to asthmatics.
Know the difference between the preventative and quick-relief medications. The preventative medications are used to reduce the inflammation that occurs in your airways. These help keep your symptoms under control over the long haul. Quick-relief medications are inhalers also known as bronchodilators. These are used to open up airways that are swollen and limiting your breathing very quickly. There are some other situations that may require asthmatics to use additional medications to control allergies.
The most common preventative medications are listed in this paragraph. Inhaled corticosteroids are probably the most common above all of the others. This medication has little to no side effects tied to it, but may take some time to be effective. Once they reach their potential, the benefits are superb. Leukotriene modifiers are taken orally and can prevent symptoms of asthma for as many as 24 hours. There have been signs of side effects linked to this medication that include negative psychological reactions. If you notice a change in the way you think or feel, see your doctor immediately. Long acting beta agonists are inhaled medications that reduce inflammation and open the airways. These meds are known to have the possibility of causing severe asthma attacks and must be taken with an inhaled corticosteroid. Theophylline is a medication taken in pill form daily which causes the muscles around your airways to relax and allows for easier breathing. It is becoming a less common med in recent years.
Quick relief medications are used when an asthmatic suffers an attack and needs rapid treatment. The most common of these being short-acting beta agonists. They work very quickly to relieve symptoms of asthma attacks. The effects can last several hours after use. Ipratropium is another prescribed medication that has nearly instant effects during an asthma attack. It works by relaxing the airways and making it easier to breathe. It is more commonly used for patients who suffer from emphysema and bronchitis, but can be effective in the treatment of asthma.
For asthmatics that suffer from allergy triggered symptoms, allergy shots are given as little as every few months or as often as each week. Omalizumab is an injected medication that needs to be given about every two weeks. Nasal spray antihistamines and decongestants are effective in assisting allergy asthmatics with their symptoms.
As a rule, do not count on your quick-relief meds. If your preventative meds are doing what they are supposed to be doing, you should not need to rely on your quick-relief meds very often at all. If you seem to be reaching for your quick-relief meds often, tell your doctor so he can adjust your preventative meds.
You should now have a better understanding about the different meds used to treat asthma. Knowledge about them should help you discuss your treatment plan with your doctor and find one that will control your symptoms better.