Important Information About Prednisone
- Good asthma care reduces the need for steroid tablets.
- If you need steroid tablets, your doctor should supervise this treatment and you should see them regularly.
- A medic-alert bracelet for steroids is only needed if you take steroid tablets for months or years.
- It’s dangerous to suddenly stop taking steroid tablets if you have been taking them for months or years.
- Long-term treatment with steroid tablets is only needed in a small number of people with asthma.
Otc Update: Asthma Medications
Drug Topics Journal
Patients seeking OTC remedies for asthma should be counseled on the risks associated with OTC asthma products.
When patients first experience asthma symptoms, their first instinct may be to try an over-the-counter bronchodilator. That these remedies are sold OTC may lead patients to believe that there are no contraindicationsbut thats far from the case.
Asthma is a chronic disease in which lung airways become inflamed and narrow, making it difficult for the patient to breathe. Asthma symptoms include shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, wheezing, and coughing. While OTC products may temporarily alleviate some symptoms, the inflammation associated with repeated asthma attacks can permanently scar airways. Patients need to relieve symptoms, but they also need a way to prevent future attacks. For that reason, asthma is best treated under medical supervision, and getting a professional diagnosis is an important first step.
Asthma medications relax the muscles around the airways while reducing swelling and mucus inside. Approved treatment regimens2 can include a combination of short- and long-term bronchodilators, as well as oral medications, to prevent and treat asthma symptoms. While some OTC products are promoted as useful for mild, intermittent asthma, that recommendation is not necessarily echoed by medical professionals.
Choosing The Right Asthma Delivery Device
Have you ever wondered how your doctor decides which is the best way for you to take your asthma medicine?
Options include syrups, granules, tablets, or capsules that you swallow. Or they are aerosols and powders that you inhale from a metered-dose inhaler, dry powder inhaler or nebulizer. Attaching a valved holding chamber to an MDI allows patients to direct the medicine into the airways by holding it and inhaling at their own speed.
Healthcare providers prescribe treatments effective in disease control. They also want treatments that are convenient for patients needs and lifestyles. You should be part of the decision process. Discuss with your healthcare provider your needs and lifestyle.
Here are 5 patient-focused factors that are part of the decision process:
If your asthma symptoms persist, talk with your doctor about the need to adjust your medications. Talk with your doctor about concerns over cost. Any barrier to using your medication can affect your asthma control.
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How Do You Decide What Treatment Is Right For Your Asthma
Patients want to have a say in their care and treatment choices. We call it . This is where your asthma specialist discusses with you the pros and cons of a specific test or treatment. You then work together to decide what is best for you. These decisions will guide the development of your Asthma Action Plan.
Studies show when patients and healthcare providers partner on decisions, it improves health outcomes. Shared Decision-Making helps improve patients knowledge of their condition. They are also more likely to follow their treatment plans and go to follow-up appointments.
What Is Bronchial Thermoplasty
Bronchial thermoplasty is an outpatient surgical procedure. It is for adults ages 18 and older with poor asthma control. These people have severe persistent asthma symptoms despite using standard therapy. This includes a combination of inhaled corticosteroids and a long-acting bronchodilator.
The procedure is performed in three outpatient visits under moderate or general anesthesia. A pulmonologist or other qualified physician inserts a long, slender tube called a bronchoscope into the lungs and surrounding airways. They then heat and shrink the size of muscle tissue. This allows more air to pass through and make breathing easier.
Side effects may include a short-term worsening of asthma symptoms. These side effects usually resolve within a week.
If you have severe and difficult-to-control asthma, talk with your doctor to determine if the procedure is right for you. Be sure to check your health insurance to confirm if the procedure is covered.
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How A Nebulizer For Allergies And Asthma Will Help
Dust, pet dander, pollen, and smoke. Each of these words can strike fear in the hearts of those who suffer from seasonal allergies, depending on what season it is. However, allergies arent only for adults to worry about. They can affect your children as well. If you find them coughing or wheezing as the seasons change, they may need a nebulizer for allergies and asthma. Sometimes, the treat isnt just seasonal. Allergens and asthma can attack all year round.
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How Is Asthma Treated
Asthma medicines play a central role in the asthma management. Some medications prevent or reduce airway inflammation. Others interrupt the allergic reaction that triggers symptoms. Some relieve coughing and wheezing, making it easier to breathe.
Your doctor will work with you to find the right combination of medicines for optimal asthma control. They will adjust the type and amount based on your symptoms and the type of asthma that you have. The goal of asthma treatment is to have you feel your best with the least amount of medicine needed to control asthma.
Get to know your medications.
Understand how and why they treat and soothe your lungs and airways. If youre prescribed an inhaler, ask for one with a dose counter. Learn when and how youre supposed to use your inhaler and follow your plan to better breathing.
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What Are Common Types Of Asthma Medications
There are four basic types of asthma medicines. They each treat a different part of your asthma:
bronchodilators relax and open the airways to treat symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.
anti-inflammatory medications reduce and prevent lung inflammation.
combination medications combine a bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory in one device.
leukotriene modifiers block the action of leukotrienes, chemicals involved in immune system responses.
biologics are medications that target the specific cells and pathways that cause inflammation related to severe asthma.
Asthma Attack Triggers And How To Prevent Them
If youve ever had an asthma attack, you know how scary it can be when your chest tightens, making it difficult to take breaths between coughing. These are just some of the symptoms that characterize an asthma attack. Asthma attacks can be triggered by many things, making it all the more frightening when you suddenly cant breathe.
Understanding what triggers your asthma is the first step toward preventing an asthma attack. Well explain what you need to know about common asthma attack triggers, so you can do your best to prevent symptoms from interrupting your everyday life.
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Taking Care Of The Nebulizer
Read the manufacturers instructions for care of your nebulizer. Different types of nebulizers may have slightly different directions, but in general:
- Disconnect the nebulizer cup tubing from the compressor after each treatment
- Open the cup and wash the cup and mouthpiece according to the instructions for your machine
- Air-dry all the parts on a clean towel
- Store the dried parts in a plastic bag
Once a week:
- Rinse the cup and the mask or mouthpiece in a solution of vinegar and water. Follow any other instructions from your doctor or the manufacturer for disinfecting the nebulizer
- Check the filter on the nebulizer machine. Replace it when it becomes discolored
Finally, make sure that you always have spare nebulizer parts and that you refill prescriptions on time so you always have your medication when you need it.
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How To Use A Nebulizer Without Medication
Water in a nebulizer for cough, stuffy nose, lung congestion, and bronchitis is many times recommended to use, especially for people who do not want to use medications for respiratory problems.
For operating your nebulizer without medicines you need to add salt water solution or saline water into the medicine cup.
Inhalation of sodium chloride solution actually helps in breaking down the deposited mucus and phlegm in the lungs which are then expelled out as cough easily.
Is Saline for Baby Asthma Cough Safe?
As the saline solution is just a sterile salt water solution and not an actual asthma medication, using it to nebulize the baby is completely safe and free of side effects.
However saline nebulizer for infants should be given after consulting with the pediatrician who can advice the best saline nebuliser dose that can be given for your baby safely without showing any side effects.
Care that if there are signs of acute wheezing and severe asthma seen, nebulizing just with hypertonic saline may not prove much effective.
In this case, you may need to use asthma medications for getting a faster cure.
Where Can I Buy Saline Solution For Nebulizer?
Saline for nebulizer is easily available over the counter at online shopping sites like Amazon.
Care that you buy sterile saline from these stores and not use the homemade saline solution in the nebulizer machine as this can be risky.
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What Does A Nebulizer Do
Nebulizers are quite popular and relatively great for delivering asthma medications to young children and infants.
They also accommodate when a larger dose of medication is required for inhalation or if the child has trouble using a traditional asthma inhaler.
Furthermore, nebulizers can be used with various medications for quick relief while controlling asthma symptoms. The medicines one can use with a nebulizer include:
- Bronchodilators for opening the airways
- Corticosteroid for relieving inflammation
Nebulizers can further be classified by their functional principle into three types:
Compressor or nozzle nebulizers work through a compressor generating compressed air. Air flows through medicinal solution atomizing into tiny droplets.
Ultrasonic nebulizers use a piezo-electric vibrator to emit high-frequency vibrations .
These vibrations are transported across the water tank, enveloping the medication with the water serving as a coolant.
These intense vibrations help in generating liquid medication columns by producing smaller particles.
The mesh nebulizer comprises a thin membrane that has minute holes in it. A vibrating element helps push the nebulizer medication through these tiny membrane holes.
This ultimately generates tiny droplets like an aerosol. The mesh nebulizer is also very lightweight and quiet. Therefore, they are perfect for traveling, especially with children.
Asthma Medicines And Competitive Sports
If you are an athlete and need to take medicine to keep your asthma under control, you need to know which inhalers and medicines are allowed.Many asthma medicines contain Beta2-Agonists, which are not allowed in competitive sport. If you need to take one of these inhalers, you need to apply for a therapeutic use exemption. VisitDrugFree Sports NZ for details.
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Improving Asthma With Tools And Devices
Asthma is a cyclical disease, with episodes that come and go. Asthma flare ups dont just happen, however. Subtle warning signs are there if you know where and how to look. By the time you begin coughing or wheezing, its too late. Your lungs are already congested and compromised. Thats why you need to pay close attention to the subtle signs. Follow the asthma treatment plan prescribed by your doctor.
The following management tools are proven to be excellent for anticipating, treating, and shortening an asthma attack. Always keep in mind that the real goal is to prevent or minimize asthma symptoms.
How To Use An Over
Using an over-the-counter inhaler entails inhaling the aerosol by following these steps:
Remove the cap.
Prime the inhaler by shaking it well and spraying it into the air before use.
Place the inhaler in your mouth and inhale deeply while pressing down the top of the inhaler.
Continue breathing in for as long as you can.
Exhale and wait for approximately a minute.
If there is no relief, take a second puff following the steps above.
Two sprays amount to 1 dose, and you should wait at least 4 hours before taking another.
Run water through the mouthpiece after use to clean it.
If it is your first time using an asthma inhaler, prime it four times before use. If it is not the first time, shake and spray once. Remember not to exceed eight inhalations in a day.
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Asthma Medications And Treatment
When it comes to understanding all of the asthma treatments available, its natural to feel a little bit confused.
The important thing to remember is that asthma is a variable disease. In other words, asthma symptoms, severity and treatment plans can vary from person to person, and even the same persons condition may fluctuate throughout the year.
The two most common types of asthma medications are controllers which treat the long-term, underlying inflammation in your airways and relieverswhich act as your rescue inhaler and provide fast but short-term relief of symptoms. You should speak with your healthcare professionalabout finding a treatment plan that is right for you.
Understand Your Asthma Medication
There are a variety of medicines available to treat asthma, but there is no “best” medicine for all people. Each person’s asthma is different, and your healthcare provider and healthcare team can work with you to set up the best plan for you based on your symptoms and needs.
- Do more of the things you want to do
- Have fewer asthma symptoms
People with asthma are often treated with a combination of quick-relief and long-term controller medicines.
Quick-Relief Medicine works quickly to relax your airways and help you breathe easier.
- You need to take this medicine if your asthma symptoms get worse.
- Be sure to start treatment as soon as your symptoms begin.
Long-Term Control Medicine reduces the swelling and inflammation in your airways and prevents symptoms
- You need to take these medicines every day, even when you feel well.
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What Is A Spacer
A spacer is a long plastic tube that your inhaler fits into. It makes using an MDI inhaler much easier. Your doctor or nurse can show you how to use a spacer properly. Spacers are not just for children, adults can use them too. You can often get a spacer for free from your doctor just ask them for one. Read more about spacers
Inhalers Nebulizers And Pills As Asthma Medicine
There are a few ways to take asthma medications. Some are inhaled, using a metered dose inhaler, dry powder inhaler, or a nebulizer . Others are taken by mouth, either in pill or liquid form. They can also be given by injection.
Some asthma drugs can be taken together. And some inhalers mix two different medications to get the drugs to your airways quicker.
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How Do I Use And Look After My Nebuliser
When youre prescribed a nebuliser to use at home you should be given clear instructions on how to use and look after it by your doctor, specialist or pharmacist.
Using your nebuliser
Always follow your doctor or specialists guidance on how to use your nebuliser and read the guidance notes carefully.
- Wash your hands before using your nebuliser
- If youre using a mouthpiece, seal your lips around it and breathe through your mouth, not your nose
- If youre using a facemask, place it over your mouth and nose
- Take normal, calm breaths as much as you can.
Looking after your nebuliser
Read the guidance notes carefully when you first get your nebuliser, so you know:
- The best way to keep your nebuliser clean to lower risk of infection
- How often to change the filters, and where to get them
- How often the nebuliser needs servicing, and how to arrange that. If you are loaned a nebuliser, the hospital or specialist clinic is responsible for servicing it.
Ask your doctor or specialist if youre not sure about anything. You can also contact the nebuliser company or manufacturers for advice if you need help with the device itself.
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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Asthma Medicine
Asthma medicines do not cure asthma, but they can help improve your symptoms. The most important thing is to take your medicine exactly as your healthcare provider has instructed you to take them. That means, taking the right medicine at the right time and with the proper technique!
Set up a system that will work best for you and the people who help care for you:
- Make a medicine schedule showing what you take and when
- Ask a friend or family member to help you organize your “system”
- Connect taking your medicine with your routine habits, such as before or after certain meals or when you brush your teeth in the morning or evening
- Set an alarm to ring
- Use a weekly pill box that has sections for each day and different times of the day
When using metered-dose inhalers, which can be either a quick-relief medicine or a long-term control medicine, use a valved holding chamber to get the most of your medicines. Haven’t heard of this device? Learn about valved holding chambers and spacers.
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