What asthma preventers are available?Asthma preventers are to be used twice a day regardless of whether your child has symptoms of asthma. Preventers are normally prescribed to those who have often suffered asthma attacks and those who have chronic asthma. Don't stop using the preventer even if your child feels better. Stoping use of the preventer without consulting your doctor could lead to your
child suffering an asthma attack straight away.
Corticosteroids: There are many corticosteroids around, such as beclomethasone, fluticasone, dexamethasone and prednisolone. They are often in brown-coloured inhalers, and are marketed with names such as Becotide, Flixotide and Pulmicort. Corticosteroids (or 'steroids') have made an enormous difference to the management of asthma. They work to reduce the amount of inflammation within the airways, reducing their tendency to contract and have allowed many patients with previously troublesome asthma to lead almost symptom-free lives. They are usually given as inhaled treatment, although sometimes oral steroid tablets may be required for severe attacks. Although steroids are powerful medicines with many potential side effects, their safety in asthma has been well established. It is also important to balance the problems that arise from poorly treated asthma against the improvement in health which occurs when the condition is well treated. Long-term use of corticosteroids can have many side effects. Corticosteroids can cause a redistribution of fat, increased appetite, blood glucose problems, and weight gain. They also cause thinning of the skin, osteoporosis and decreased immunity and slower healing.
Cromones: Sodium cromoglycate and nedocromil have weak anti-inflammatory effects. They are mainly of value in young atopic patients with mild asthma. They also act to reduce inflammation of the airways. They tend to be best for mild asthma and are more effective in children than adults. The medicines are given by inhalation and are usually very well tolerated. Cromones may be tried in asthmatics with a persistent cough despite optimal treatment with corticosteroids. They are also effective for the prevention of exercise induced asthma. Their main advantage is a good safety profile. Their disadvantages include higher cost, frequent dosing interval and poor efficacy in comparison with inhaled corticosteroids. Monitoring of symptoms and lung function is recommended and inhaled corticosteroids should be substituted if control is inadequate after 6-12 weeks treatment.
Leukotriene receptor antagonists: Leukotriene receptor antagonists inhibit the effect of the cysteinyl leukotrienes, products of arachidonic acid metabolism. They have been shown to improve asthma control, in persistent asthma (mild, moderate and severe), and attenuate exercise induced asthma. Leukotriene receptor antagonists are compounds released by inflammatory cells within the lungs and which have a powerful constricting effect upon the airways. By blocking this effect with these antagonist medicines the constriction is reversed. There are two such medicines currently available: montelukast and zafirlukast, both of which are taken as tablets.
More information on asthmaWhat is asthma? - Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory disease characterized by periodic attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling in the chest.
What types of asthma are there? - Types of asthma include child-onset asthma, adult-onset asthma, exercise-induced asthma, cough-variant asthma, occupational asthma, nocturnal asthma.
What's bronchial asthma? - Bronchial asthma is a disease of the lungs in which an obstructive ventilation disturbance of the respiratory passages evokes a feeling of shortness of breath.
What is exercise-induced asthma? - Exercise-induced asthma is a form of asthma that some people have during or after physical activity. Exercise-induced asthma is common.
What is adult-onset asthma? - Adult onset asthma generally is the onset of asthma for the first time in someone of middle age or older. Adult-onset asthma develops after age 20.
What is status asthmaticus? - Status asthmaticus is a severe asthma episode that does not respond to standard treatment. Status asthmaticus is caused by severe bronchospasm.
What causes asthma? - Asthma is caused by inhaling an allergen that sets off the chain of biochemical and tissue changes leading to airway inflammation, bronchoconstriction, and wheezing.
What're the asthma triggers? - Many risk factors have been linked to triggering asthma attacks. There are two basic types of asthma triggers, allergic triggers, non-allergic triggers.
Asthma and allergy - Asthma attacks (worsening of asthma symptoms) can be triggered by allergies. Allergy is the leading cause of asthma.
What is an asthma attack? - An asthma attack occurs when the small and medium-sized airways become inflamed and constricted after being exposed to a trigger.
Asthma in children - Asthma is the most common chronic condition of childhood. Asthma symptoms can interfere with many school activities for children.
Asthma and pregnancy - During pregnancy, asthma or asthma episodes will become worse for an estimated one-third of pregnant women, particularly women who have severe asthma.
Asthma in adults and older people - Identifying asthma in the elderly can be difficult because asthma symptoms can be confused with symptoms of heart or lung diseases.
What're the complications of asthma? - Uncontrolled asthma in pregnant women puts them at higher risk for complications that can include early labor, hypertension, gestational diabetes.
What are the symptoms of asthma? - The symptoms of asthma include labored breathing, constriction of the chest, coughing and gasping usually brought on by allergies.
What're the warning signs of asthma? - Most people with asthma have warning signs before symptoms appear. There are many warning signs of an asthma episode.
How is asthma diagnosed? - The diagnosis of asthma is made on the basis of typical symptoms and signs. Positive allergy tests support a diagnosis of asthma.
What're the treatments for asthma? - Treatment of asthma is aimed at avoiding known allergens and respiratory irritants and controlling symptoms and airway inflammation through medication.
What quick relief (rescue) medications cure asthma? - Short-acting beta-agonists are the most commonly used asthma rescue medications. Anticholinergics are another class of asthma drugs.
Long-term asthma control medications - Combinations of steroids and other medications are effective for both treating and preventing asthma attacks in patients with moderate to severe asthma.
What're asthma inhalers? - Most asthma drugs are inhaled using special devices or nebulizers. Two common types include dry powder asthma inhalers and metered-dose asthma inhalers.
What're asthma nebulizers? - Asthma nebulizers can be used with all classes of inhaled medications but are most commonly used with short-acting beta2 agonists and ipratropium bromide.
How to control acute asthma attacks? - Acute asthma is an acute exacerbation of wheezing, unresponsive to usually effective therapy and necessitating care in an emergency room or hospital ward.
How to manage chronic asthma symptoms? - The aims of management are to recognize asthma, to abolish symptoms, to restore normal or best possible long term airway function.
What asthma relievers are available? - Asthma reliever is a drug that provides relief from asthma symptoms and is the most commonly used asthma medication.
What asthma preventers are available? - Asthma preventers are to be used twice a day regardless of whether your child has symptoms of asthma.
What's the treatment for childhood asthma? - The goals of asthma therapy are to prevent child from having chronic and troublesome symptoms, to maintain child's lung function.
What's the treatment for asthma in the elderly? - Diagnosis and treatment of asthma can be more complicated in people age 65 and older than in those who are younger.
What can be done to prevent asthma? - Avoiding known allergens and respiratory irritants can reduce asthma symptoms. People with asthma should minimize risk for respiratory tract infections.