Medicine For Asthma Can Be Confusing Unless You Know These Facts
For properly understanding medicine for asthma, better it is important to take a look at the different types of asthma medications and how they improve asthma symptoms. To understand what the medication does to the body it is good to know what symptoms occur when a person has an asthma attack.
Most of the symptoms a person experiences while having an asthma attack are related to what is going on in the airways in the lungs. Something usually triggers the asthma attack, usually an allergen or irritant such as pollen, a pollutant, harsh chemical smell, exhaust fume, dust particles or pet dander.
The airway responds to the allergen or irritant by becoming inflamed which causes the airway to get smaller, making it more difficult to move air in and out of the lungs. The inflamed airways can lead to a feeling of tightness in the chest, chest pain or discomfort can also be felt during an asthma attack. The person is usually coughing or experiencing shortness of breath.
The reason of most asthma medications is to open up the airways so the person can breathe with restrictions. Other medications that may be given will reduce the reaction that the body has to the asthma trigger. If the person has allergies an antihistamine or decongestant will be prescribed.
Asthma medications are either long-term control in nature or are quick-relief asthma medications designed to bring an asthma attack under control quickly so the person can breathe more easily. The exchange of air in and out of the lungs is critical to life so a chronic asthmatic must always carry quick-relief asthma medication with them at all times.
Long-term control medications come in two types; those that are anti-inflammatory drugs and those that are bronchodilators. When taken on a regular basis over a period of time the asthma can be controlled and attacks prevented. This allows the adult to enjoy a normal physically active lifestyle.
Steroids are anti-inflammatory medication and reduce the swelling and mucus production that occurs during an asthma attack. Over time the anti-inflammatory drug makes the airway less sensitive and less likely to react to the trigger which means fewer symptoms will be experienced.
Bronchodilators relax the smooth muscles that cause the airways to feel tight. When the muscle is relaxed more air can move in and out of the airway. Bronchodilators also help clear out the mucus that has formed during an asthma attack. The adult will then cough the mucus up and out of the lungs thus improving their breathing.
Some common long-term control drugs include corticosteroids that are inhaled, mast cell stabilizers, which are anti-inflammatory medications, long acting beta-agonists, which are bronchodilators, theophylline which is also a bronchodilator, leukotriene modifiers which are used as an alternative to steroids and mast cell stabilizers and Xolair which is an injectable asthma medication.
Quick-relief asthma medications give prompt relief from symptoms when the airway is restricted. This type of medication includes short acting beta-agonists, anticholinergics, and systemic corticosteroids.
Inhalers, nebulizers, and pills are typical players in the asthma patient’s treatment plan. An inhaler has a metered dose breathed in through the mouth. Nebulizers are machines with medicine inside that are breathed in, and pills are taken orally.
Certain asthma medications can be taken together. Some inhalers contain more than one medication.
It is important to never run out of asthma medications. It is especially important to check the expiration date on quick-acting rescue inhalers to be sure they are ok to use. Get refills on all asthma medications before you run out. Some pharmacies keep track of when you should refill your medication and inform you when to get your prescription refilled. Prepare a prescription at least 48 hours before you need more as this will make you to lead a continuous dose.