Asthma Treatment:By Dr.Deepti M
Asthma is a very dreadful disease, and many people are becoming the victims of this disease throughout the world. There are no geographical, ethnic or racial restrictions for this disease. It can affect people belonging to different geographical regions, races, etc. People of all age groups are affected, although kids are more commonly affected from this disease.
The symptoms of asthma are very difficult to control. They can be triggered very easily. They can be triggered by mild household dust, pollen from the flowers, and even by cold weather, which makes it very difficult to prevent the symptoms of the disease. It has many symptoms like wheezing, coughing, flaring of nostrils,difficulty in breathing, and fast breathing or tachypnea.
Medications or drugs need to be taken to control the immediate symptoms or the attack of the asthma, when an attack is produced. But, drugs also need to be taken to prevent the symptoms, or to provide long term control of the disease. Both are equally important for asthma treatment.
Immediate control of asthma symptoms:
A severely asthmatic person can’t breath properly. So, he can’t get enough oxygen, which is very dangerous. So, he needs to be given oxygen therapy(is the administration of oxygen as a medical intervention), based on the severity of the asthma attack.
Steroids like hydrocortisone need to be given intravenously, so that their action is fast. They inhibit phospholipase A2, a substance which is involved in causing the symptoms of asthma.
Nebulization with salbutamol:
Salbutamol is a beta 2 agonist drug. It dilates the airway, or causes bronchodilation, which increases the airflow to the lungs.
Aminophylline is a drug, which dilates the bronchus or the airway, along with salbutamol. It also enhances the power of the diaphragm, which is a vital part of the breathing process. It needs to be given through the veins for faster action.
This is a drug, which is given when all the other drugs fail to provide the necessary action. This drug is given if the patient can’t speak, and his carbon dioxide levels in the blood are very high.
Assisted control mechanical ventilation (ACMV):
Ventilator is a means to provide artificial breathing. Ventilation is given, when asthma is very severe, and the patient is very critical, and can’t breath at all. It is the last means to prevent death in the person.
Long term control or prevention of asthma symptoms:
The drugs used for asthma treatment for asthma attack, vary from the drugs used for the long term control or treatment of asthma.
Steroids are a vital part of the treatment of asthma. Steroids like fluticasone, budesonide, beclomethasone, and flunisolide are used for the treatment of asthma. They reduce the inflammation or swelling in the airway, and thus facilitate breathing.
Mast cell stabilizers:
Mast cells are involved in the production of asthma symptoms. So, the drugs used to control these cells are effective in the long term control of asthma. Mast cell stabilizers used for asthma treatment are ketotifen, sodium cromoglycate, nedocromil.
Leukotrienes are the substances, which are involved in causing the symptoms of asthma. So, drugs modifying these substances are helpful in controlling the disease.They are zileuton, and Montelukast. Montelukast is the drug of choice for the treatment of exercise induced asthma.
Monoclonal antibodies like omalizumab are used for the long term control of asthma. They are used for the treatment of chronic persistent asthma – By Dr.Deepti M.