Asthma is controlled and treated by reliever and controller. Reliever help undergoes quick bronchodilation that eases breathing while controller mainly reduces airway’s inflammation, reducing the chances of asthma attack. Selection of an appropriate treatment regime is done keeping in view the nature and severity of symptoms, age of patient and other comorbid factors. You should consult your regular GP for advice and treatment options. If you have chronic Asthma symptoms, your after hours GP can also assist you with preparation of a Asthma Care Plan for treating Asthma symptoms.
Common Pharmacotherapy for Asthma
Three main treatment options for asthma include:
Long action medicines: Long-acting beta-agonists, inhaled corticosteroids, Leukotriene modifiers, and biologics.
Alvesco: It is a corticosteroid that helps prevent symptoms of asthma by managing sudden attacks of asthma. Corticosteroids are often given to treat asthma but they are needed to be tapered once symptoms are controlled. Tapering might take months because quick stoppage of the use may result in serious side effects.
Beclomethasone: Another corticosteroid Beclomethasone is useful for controlling the symptoms of lung disease. It is not alone helpful in curing asthma. Beclomethasone is advised in cases when wheezing, shortness of breath and related lung issues arise.
Performerist: It is a long-acting beta-agonist is used to treat COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). It is advised with other anti-asthmatic medicines to control the symptoms of asthma.
- Nebulizers: Medicines is given to the patient in liquid form that turns into mist after inhalation. The nebulizers are an option for those who cannot use inhalers.
- Inhalers: Small hand-held devices that are called as inhalers are used to deliver asthma medication. Inhalers are used as a rescuer to control acute asthma attack as well as for prophylaxis of asthma. However lowest effective dose should be recommended in order to reduce side effects.
Two main types of inhalers include MDI (metered dose inhalers) Dry powder inhalers are used. Metered-dose inhalers help deliver fixed amount of medication. Dry powder inhaler release medication by breathing in with the mouthpiece.
Inhalers are used very often to control acute asthma attack and as a rescue treatment. Sometimes a combination of inhalers is also used. Inhalers may be used alone or in combination for long term prophylaxis of asthma. However, there is a need to take care of the side effects including fungal infection that appear as a white spot in the mouth. Proper hygiene can help reduce such effects. Long term side effects may be encountered if appropriate dosage and frequency of use are not established (Food and Drug Administration, 2014).
Most commonly prescribed inhalers for treating Asthma are:
- Albuterol: Albuterol is the most frequently prescribed inhaler for asthma but it might become ineffective when used for a long time period. Side effects, in the long run, include hypertension and cardiac arrhythmias along with increased symptoms of respiratory discomfort.
- Inhaled corticosteroids: Inhaled corticosteroids also help relieve symptoms of asthma but again they have dose-related long term side effects including reduced immunity and negative effects of growth in children.
- Formoterol and Salmeterol: Both are given by inhalation and act by reversing the narrowing of the respiratory tract. Both are b2 agonist (LABA) that help cure moderate to severe asthma negative effects of heart and bronchospasm are some side effects.
- Salt inhaler: Help expectoration by dissolving the mucus in the airways and absorbing water. Thickened mucus liquefies and the expectoration is helped.
Prevention of Asthma
Prevention of asthma might not be easy. Working out on a plan that is designed to live in an adaptive environment and mitigate symptoms of the disease can help greatly. For this purpose treatment and monitoring should be continuously done. Asthma is not completely () cured. It is an ongoing condition, the symptoms of which might vary from time to time. Prevention is possible if someone stays current to the medication. Prevention of triggering factors such as pneumonia and flu is also needed.
The first step in the plan can be avoiding the triggers of asthma. Pollen, irritants and air pollutants can cause initiation of an attack. Worsening of symptoms may also happen with exposure to the allergens. At the same time, there is also a need to take steps to monitor breathing. Home-peak flow meter is useful in measuring the ability of lung function. When peak flow measurement decrease, an incoming attack might be warned. Medical help might be needed to stop the attack. Medicines should be taken regularly as per the prescription of doctors. Wheezing and shortness of breath should not also be ignored. Early identification and appropriate treatment can help cure symptoms in a better way.
How Can an After Hours Doctor Assist You?
If you are unable to get to your local doctor, 1300 Dr To Me can assist you with an after hours doctor visit at the convenience of your home. Our after hours doctors can provide you with immediate assessment and treatment for Asthmatic symptoms. We keep your local doctor informed by providing them with timely information about your treatment.
However, it must be noted that Asthmatic symptoms may be worse for some, compared to others. In case that you or your loved ones are experiencing severe shortness of breath inclusive of choking feeling or unable to breath, you will require immediate medical assistance, and must call 000 for ambulatory assistance.
Disclaimer: 1300 Dr To Me provides free health information blogs for the community to increase awareness on health & medical topics. The information in this article is educative and does not constitute diagnosis. Please consult a doctor, or request an urgent after hours GP visit should you or your children experience allergic symptoms.