Your age, your symptoms, the severity of your asthma, and any adverse drug reactions will all affect the types and dosages of asthma medications you need.
Work closely with your doctor to track your symptoms and, if necessary, modify your asthma medication because your asthma might vary over time.
Asthma treatment options
Types of Category Purpose drugs for long-term control of asthma The most crucial form of treatment for the majority of asthma sufferers is to routinely take it to manage chronic symptoms and prevent asthma attacks. corticosteroids inhaled
Modifiers of leukotriene
prolonged beta agonists (LABAs)
Antimuscarinics with a long half-life (LAMAs)
Theophylline medicine for immediate relief (rescue medications) Used to prevent or treat an asthma attack, used as needed for quick, short-term symptom relief. Albuterol and Ipratropium are examples of short-acting beta agonists (Atrovent HFA)
swallowed corticosteroids (for severe asthma attacks) medications for asthma brought on by allergies taken on a daily basis or as required to lessen your body’s sensitivity to a certain allergen (allergen) allergy shots (immunotherapy)
tablets for sublingual (under-the-tongue) immunotherapy
Anti-allergy drugs Biologics used to better control the symptoms of severe asthma by taking them along with control drugs to inhibit underlying biological reactions that lead to lung inflammation. Benralizumab (Fasenra)
Omalizumab and mepolizumab (Nucala) (Xolair)
medicine tezepelumab-ekko (Tezspire), a long-term contraceptive
Even when they are symptom-free, many asthmatics need to take daily long-term management drugs. The following are some examples of long-term control drug types.
The most popular and efficient long-term asthma management treatments are these anti-inflammatory drugs. They lessen airway edema and constriction. Before you experience the full benefits of these medications, you might need to take them for a few months.
the following inhaled corticosteroids: fluticasone (Flovent HFA, Arnuity Ellipta, others)
Budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler)
Beclomethasone Mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler) (Qvar RediHaler)
Inhaled corticosteroids should be used often to prevent asthma episodes and other issues related to poorly managed asthma. Inhaled corticosteroids can modestly slow growth in children when used long-term, but overall, the advantages of using these drugs to keep asthma under good control outweigh the dangers.
The negative effects of inhaled corticosteroids are typically not severe. Oral yeast infections and tongue and throat discomfort are examples of adverse effects. To lessen the quantity of medication left in your mouth after using a metered dose inhaler, use a spacer and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
Modifiers of leukotriene
Leukotrienes, immune system molecules that induce asthma symptoms, are blocked by these drugs. For up to 24 hours, leukotriene modifiers can aid in symptom prevention. Some examples are: Montelukast (Singulair)
Montelukast has occasionally been connected to psychiatric side effects include agitation, violence, hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts. If you experience any odd reactions, consult your healthcare practitioner straight away.
prolonged beta agonists (LABAs)
For at least 12 hours, these bronchodilator (brong-koh-DIE-lay-tur) drugs keep airways open and minimize swelling. They are regularly used in order to manage moderate to severe asthma and stop overnight symptoms. Despite their effectiveness, they have been connected to life-threatening asthma crises. LABAs are only used in conjunction with an inhaled corticosteroid due of this.
The LABAs for asthma that are most typically used include:
Antimuscarinics with a long half-life (LAMAs)
These drugs also function as bronchodilators. A LAMA combined with an inhaled corticosteroid may be an alternative if a LABA cannot be utilized. If more asthma control is required, a LAMA can also be used with a LABA and an inhaled corticosteroid.
For severe asthma, the medication LAMA tiotropium (Spiriva Respimat) may be added to the regimen.
Beta agonists with a long half-life and corticosteroids
Some inhaled asthma drug combinations include a bronchodilator and a corticosteroid:
Salterol with fluticasone (Advair Diskus, AirDuo Digihaler, others)
Formoterol (Symbicort) and budesonide, as well as mometasone and formoterol (Dulera)
both vilanterol and fluticasone (Breo Ellipta)
medicine for immediate relief
By relaxing the muscles in the airways, these asthma drugs, also known as short-acting beta agonists (SABA), help to open the lungs. They are sometimes referred to as rescue drugs since they can lessen deteriorating symptoms or halt an asthma attack in its tracks. They start working immediately and last for four to six hours. Not for everyday use.
Before exercising, some people use a quick-relief inhaler to help reduce wheezing and other asthma symptoms. An erratic pulse and jitteriness are potential adverse effects (palpitations).
Medication for immediate relief includes albuterol (ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA, others)
Levalbuterol (Xopenex HFA)
You may be able to treat your symptoms with just one of these drugs if they are mild and infrequent or if you have exercise-induced asthma. The majority of individuals with persistent asthma, however, also require a long-term control drug, such as an inhaled corticosteroid.
Your asthma is not under control if you need to take your inhaler more frequently than your doctor advises, and you may be raising your chance of having a serious asthma attack. Consult your doctor about changing your therapy.
Ipratropium (Atrovent HFA), a short-acting bronchodilator, is occasionally used to treat asthma attacks but is typically prescribed for emphysema or chronic bronchitis. It can be used in conjunction with or in place of a SABA.
For the treatment of asthma, ipratropium and albuterol may occasionally be combined (Combivent).
To treat mild asthma, you take a pill form of this bronchodilator every day. Theophylline (Theo-24) eases airway tension and lessens the lungs’ sensitivity to allergens. Even though it isn’t used as frequently now, theophylline can aid with asthma symptoms at night. To ensure you’re receiving the right dose, you may require routine blood testing.
For severe asthma attacks, use oral corticosteroids
To treat severe asthma episodes, these drugs may be given, usually for a brief period of time. Examples comprise:
When administered for an extended period of time, oral corticosteroids can have more serious adverse effects in addition to annoying short-term side effects. Cataracts, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, lowered infection resistance, elevated blood pressure, and stunted growth in children are examples of long-term negative effects.
asthma medications induced by allergens
Allergy shots are one example of a medication that focuses on treating asthma triggers (allergens). If you have allergic asthma that you are unable to control by avoiding triggers, allergy shots (immunotherapy) may be an option. To start, you do skin tests to identify the allergens that aggravate your asthma symptoms. After that, a series of injections comprising tiny quantities of certain allergens will be given to you. In most cases, you get shots once a week for a few months, then once a month for three to five years. Immunotherapy may be applied more quickly in specific circumstances. You ought to become less sensitive to the allergies over time.
tablets for sublingual (under-the-tongue) immunotherapy. Instead of getting shots, you take pills that dissolve in your mouth that contain very little amounts of the allergen. Most people take pills every day. Although sublingual immunotherapy tablets don’t work for all allergies, they can be beneficial for dust mites, grass, and ragweed pollens.
Instead of getting shots, you take pills that dissolve in your mouth that contain very little amounts of the allergen. Most people take pills every day. Although sublingual immunotherapy tablets don’t work for all allergies, they can be beneficial for dust mites, grass, and ragweed pollens. Anti-allergy drugs. These consist of antihistamines and decongestants taken orally and as nasal sprays, as well as corticosteroids and cromolyn nasal sprays. Both nonprescription and prescription allergy medicines are offered. They are not a replacement for asthma drugs, but they can assist with allergic symptoms like runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing, and sinus pressure. For the majority of patients, nasal corticosteroid sprays are a safe, long-term medication that reduces inflammation. Cromolyn is safe to use for extended periods of time because it rarely, if ever, exhibits negative effects. Decongestant nasal spray shouldn’t be used for longer than two to three days at a time because prolonged use can make symptoms worse (rebound swelling).
If you have severe asthma with symptoms that are difficult to control with standard drugs, your doctor may suggest biologic treatment. By concentrating on immune system antibodies or certain cells, biologics diminish inflammation. Biologics, when combined with other asthma drugs, enable persons with more severe types of the disease better control their symptoms.
To determine which biologic will work best for you, your doctor will often order blood tests. Some biologics are administered via injection, whereas others come from a vein (intravenously).
For allergic asthma, biologic
Sometimes, omalizumab (Xolair) is used to treat asthma that is brought on by airborne allergens. When you have allergies, your immune system misinterprets a safe airborne component, such pollen, dust mites, or pet dander, and interprets it as being dangerous. A material like this is an allergy.
Your immune system creates immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to defend against this allergen because it is how your body defends itself. Your immune system is prompted by these antibodies to release chemicals into your bloodstream, which results in a reaction that causes allergy and asthma symptoms. Omalizumab inhibits the activity of these antibodies, which lessens the immunological response.
Every two to four weeks, an injection of omalizumab is administered. In general, young children under the age of 12 should not use it. Rarely, this medicine has caused an allergic reaction that is potentially fatal (anaphylaxis). Additionally, the FDA has issued a warning about a slightly elevated risk of heart and brain blood vessel issues while using this medication.
Health care personnel should closely watch anyone who receives an injection of this medication in case a serious reaction occurs.
For eosinophilic asthma, biologics
A more recent class of biologic medications has been created to specifically target chemicals made by some immune system cells. Some patients experience an accumulation of certain white blood cells called eosinophils in their body tissues. Inflammatory cytokines are chemicals released by eosinophils. These biological medications work by reducing eosinophil and cytokine levels in the body and decreasing inflammation.
Benralizumab (Fasenra), Dupilumab (Dupixent), Mepolizumab (Nucala), and Reslizumab are some of these drugs (Cinqair)
biologic for either allergic or eosinophilic asthma
For those with severe asthma, the FDA recently approved the biologic tezepelumab-ekko (Tezspire). This drug works to treat allergic or eosinophilic asthma by lowering certain cytokines that contribute to inflammation.
maximizing the effectiveness of your asthma drugs
To keep your asthma symptoms under control, it’s important to monitor your symptoms and side effects and modify your therapy as needed. Make a written, comprehensive plan with your healthcare practitioner for managing asthma attacks and taking long-term control drugs. then adhere to your plan.
Understand when to change your prescription, when to contact your doctor, and how to spot an asthma emergency. Use a peak flow meter as directed if your doctor has prescribed one to assess how well your lungs are functioning. Take your meds as directed even if you feel well, and monitor your symptoms until you speak with your doctor.
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