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What Medicine To Take For Asthma

Choosing The Right Asthma Delivery Device

Pharmacology – DRUGS FOR ASTHMA AND COPD (MADE EASY)

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:

  • Age. This is always an important consideration, but especially with infants. Infants have smaller airways and lungs and breathe faster. National asthma guidelines say children should use a holding chamber when using an MDI. This is because the aerosolized spray comes out faster than most kids can inhale.
  • Ability to follow directions. This consideration crosses all age groups. It includes when and how to take a particular medication. Even adults may confuse the directions for using MDIs and DPIs.
  • 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.

    Asthmatics Be Cautious Of Cold Air

    Asthma affects each person differently. If being cold makes your asthma symptoms worse, you should treat it like any other flare-up. On the coldest days, check on the weather and try to stay inside. If you have to go out, cover your face with a scarf or mask. Protect your health to prevent a virus from triggering an asthma attack. Set the interior humidity level so that breathing is as comfortable as possible.

    Take your medications as directed by the doctor. Don’t skip using your inhaler or other asthma medication when you’re feeling good if you’ve been prescribed one. Always adhere to your plan in order to prevent unnecessary flare-ups.

    What Does My Test Result Mean

    For both the PCR and the lateral flow tests, your result will be either:

    Negative

    This means that the test did not find coronavirus.

    You usually dont need to continue self-isolating if you get a negative result. But, unless you have had both your vaccinations, you need to self-isolate if:

    • someone you live with tests positive
    • youve been told youve been in contact with someone who tested positive.

    If you still feel unwell after a negative result, stay at home until youre feeling better. Contact a GP if your symptoms get worse or do not go away.

    If youre being sick, have diarrhoea, or have a high temperature, stay at home until 48 hours after theyve stopped.

    You should check with your employer before going back into work.

    You can read more about what your test result means and what to do on the NHS website.

    Positive

    This means the test found signs of coronavirus.

    What you need to do depends on the type of test you had:

    Positive PCR test

    Positive rapid lateral flow test

    If you did a rapid lateral flow test at home and the result was positive, you should self-isolate immediately. You need to report the result and get a PCR test done to confirm the result. You should continue to self-isolate until you get the result of the PCR test, and then follow the advice given when you get the result. Anyone you live with who has not had both jabs should also self-isolate until you get the result of the PCR test.

    Unclear or void

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    Holding Chambers / Spacers

    Ask your provider about getting a holding chamber or spacer and use it each time you use your MDI inhaler. Spacers /holding chambers give inhaled medicine a chance to slow down so you can breathe it in while reducing how much of the medicines droplets land on the back of your throat or tongue, making sure it goes directly and deeply into your lungs. Chambers or spacers should NOT be used with dry powder inhalers or inhalers that look like an MDI but they automatically dispense the medicine when you inhale â ex. RespiClick®. Always rinse your mouth out and gargle with fresh clean water after youve used your ICS inhaler and dont swallow until you do rinse.

    Will I Have To Take Medicine All The Time

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    Maybe not. Asthma is a chronic condition that is controllable. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma. For that reason, you may have asthma symptoms when exposed to triggers. This is the case even if you dont have symptoms very often. Your triggers can change over time, and your treatment will depend on two things: how severe your asthma is, and how often you have symptoms. If your asthma is controlled, your treatment will focus on managing symptoms and treatment of episodes when they happen.

    If your symptoms happen at certain times and you know what caused them, you and your doctor can use this information to determine the best treatment. If, for example, you have seasonal asthma because of a specific pollen allergy, you may take medicines only when that pollen is in the air. But asthma that specific is not common. Many people with asthma take some form of medicine most or all of the time.

    Also Check: How Can We Prevent Asthma

    Does Having Phlegm Mean My Asthma Is Getting Worse

    Coughing up more phlegm than usual could be a sign that your airways are inflamed. This means your airways get narrower and this can cause other asthma symptoms, like:

    • breathlessness.

    If you have more asthma symptoms than usual, your reliever inhaler will help open up your airways. But remember, if youre using your reliever inhaler more than three times a week, you need to see your doctor.

    Taking your daily preventer inhaler as prescribed should help reduce the inflammation thats causing your asthma symptoms. Find out more about how preventer inhalers help asthma.

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    Video: Phlegm And Asthma

    0:07 Gross as it looksphlegm and mucus protect your body from infection.

    0:11 A little bit of phlegm is totally normal but if your phlegm

    0:18 changes in colour thickness or amount it could be a sign that youre ill and your

    0:20 asthma may be affected

    0:23 if you find youve been coughing up more phlegm than

    0:28 usual this could be a sign that your airways are inflamed this can cause

    0:34 asthma symptoms like coughing wheezing shortness of breath or a tight chest

    0:38 You should take your daily preventer inhaler as prescribed and it should help stop

    0:42 these symptoms because it reduces the inflammation in your airways over time

    0:47 if youre doing this and still getting a lot of mucus on your chest you should

    0:51 book an appointment with your doctor or ask the nurse

    1:00 if you have yellow or green phlegm this might be a sign of an infection like a cold flu or a chest

    1:04 infection these can often make asthma symptoms worse so its really important

    1:09 to keep taking your preventer inhaler every day

    1:15 if your phlegm is streaked with blood this is usually down to the pressure put on the blood vessels if

    1:19 youre coughing a lot the best thing you can do in this case is to see your

    1:24 doctor to make sure its nothing to worry about if you have brown or black

    1:28 tinged phlegm it usually occurs in smokers or if you have COPD chronic

    1:34 obstructive lung disease as well as asthma when you stop smoking even just

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    How To Use A Metered

    • Shake the inhaler after removing the cap.

    • Exhale fully for 1 or 2 seconds.

    • Put the inhaler in your mouth or 1 to 2 inches from it and start to breathe in slowly, like sipping hot soup.

    • While starting to breathe in, press the top of the inhaler.

    • Breathe in slowly until your lungs are full.

    • Hold your breath for 10 seconds .

    • Breathe out and, if a second dose is required, repeat the procedure after 1 minute.

    • If you find it difficult to coordinate breathing using this method, a spacer can be used.

    A nebulizer can be used to deliver beta-adrenergic drugs directly to the lungs. A nebulizer uses pressurized air or ultrasonic sound waves to create a continuous mist of drug that is inhaled without having to coordinate dosing with breathing. Nebulizers are often portable, and some units can even be plugged into a power outlet in a car. Nebulizers and metered-dose inhalers often deliver different amounts of drug with a single dose, but both are capable of delivering sufficient amounts of drug to the lungs. Nebulizer therapy is less likely to reach the more distant airways in people who are breathing comfortably and not taking deep breaths, making nebulized therapy less effective than a correctly used metered-dose inhaler or a dry powder formulation.

    What Is Asthma Medication

    Using an Inhaler with a Spacer Mask

    Asthma medications are usually grouped into relievers and preventers. Preventers are used daily to prevent asthma symptoms, whereas reliever medicines are used when necessary to relieve symptoms.

    Asthma medications are usually grouped into preventers and relievers:

    • Preventers are used daily to prevent asthma symptoms.
    • Relievers are used when necessary to relieve symptoms.

    Most are taken using inhalers or “puffers”. Other asthma medicines come in the form of a dry powder or fine spray that is only released when you breathe in. Sometimes, medicine can be breathed in as a vapour through a nebuliser. Some asthma medications are in tablet form, including prednisone, which is usually only used to treat severe asthma flare-ups.

    It is very important to follow your doctors or pharmacists advice on using these medicines.

    You may need to use one or more asthma medications to manage your asthma. If you have severe asthma, you will probably need other medications as well. Asthma Australia has more information on the treatment of severe asthma.

    People with asthma should also have a written asthma action plan to help them recognise worsening symptoms and know how to respond.

    There are 2 main types of asthma medication: relievers and preventers.

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    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.

    What Causes An Asthma Attack

    An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to asthma triggers. Your asthma triggers can be very different from someone elses asthma triggers. Know your triggers and learn how to avoid them. Watch out for an attack when you cant avoid your triggers. Some of the most common triggers are tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mold, smoke from burning wood or grass, and infections like flu.

    Read Also: Whats The Cause Of Asthma

    How Do I Know If My Asthma Treatment Plan Needs Updating

    Asthma is a condition that requires constant attention. An up-to-date Asthma Action Plan is important for disease control and to prevent asthma attacks. If you start to regularly experience symptoms during everyday activities, visit your asthma specialist to discuss whether you need to adjust your treatment plan.The Rules of Two is another way to find out if your treatment plan is working. If you answer yes to any of these questions, make plans to visit your asthma specialist.

    • Do you need to use your quick-relief inhaler TWO or more times a week?
    • Does your asthma wake you up TWO or more times a month?
    • Do you refill your quick-relief inhaler TWO or more times a year?
    • Do you use prednisone TWO or more times a year for flares of asthma?
    • Does your peak flow vary when more than TWO TIMES 10 from baseline when you have asthma symptoms?

    The Rules of Two is a registered trademark of the Baylor Healthcare System.

    Talk To Your Asthma Specialist

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    If youâve been diagnosed with asthma but your treatment doesnât seem to work anymore, itâs time to see your doctor again. Likewise, if youâre having to use your rescue inhaler too often, see your doctor. You may need to change your asthma treatment for better control.

    Though asthma is common, itâs a serious condition that needs a diagnosis and treatment. Talk to your doctor for asthma support, and find the medications that work best for you.

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    Facts You Should Know About Asthma

    • Asthma is a lung disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the breathing passages of the lungs .
    • Seek medical care if youre experiencing a spasmodic cough at night, wheezing, trouble breathing, and chest pain or tightness.
    • Treatment involves the use of quick-relief and long-term control medications.

    How Are Inhalers Used To Treat Asthma

    Many asthma medicines are delivered using an inhaler or a nebulizer. Inhalers and nebulizers are devices that allow the asthma medications to be inhaled. This means you breathe them in, and they go straight to the airways. There are four types of delivery devices:

    • metered-dose inhaler : a pressurized device that releases medication in a fine spray for you to inhale
    • slow-moving mist inhaler: like an MDI, with a slower-moving mist
    • dry powder inhaler : releases medication as a fine powder for inhaling

    Visit our online store to download our free respiratory treatment poster or purchase print copies. The respiratory treatment poster is an asthma medication chart. It lists asthma inhalers by brand name as well as biologic medications used to treat asthma.

    How to Use a Metered Dose Inhaler

    How to Use a Slow-Moving Mist Inhaler

    How to Use a Dry Powder Inhaler

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    Classes Of Asthma Drugs

    There are two main types of drugs doctors prescribe to control asthma. Its important to understand when and why to use each type. The first kind of medication is your long-term control medicine. You might call it your maintenance asthma medicine. You use these medicines on a regular basis to control asthma and prevent attacks. The other kind of medicine is your quick-relief, or rescue medicine. Should an asthma flare-up occur, you use rescue inhalers to relieve symptoms.

    Doctors follow expert guidelines when choosing which medicines to use in treating asthma. Classes of asthma drugs include:

    After starting treatment, your doctor will regularly monitor your asthma control. Your doctor will want to know how often you experience symptoms, if you have symptoms at night, and how often you use your rescue medicine. You will also need to regularly take peak flow measurements and record them. Your doctor will use all this information to decide whether your current treatment is working.

    Types Of Asthma Medication

    How to correctly use an asthma inhaler

    Asthma can be well controlled with the appropriate medication in almost all people. The main types of medication are:

    • Preventers that slowly make the airways less sensitive to triggers by reducing swelling and mucus inside the airways. This medication is taken daily.
    • Relievers that act quickly to relax the tight muscles around the airways and are used when symptoms breakthrough, despite good asthma management. This medication is used during an asthma attack. Relievers can also be used to prevent exercise-induced asthma when prescribed by a doctor.
    • Combination preventers that contain 2 different medications and act to reduce inflammation as well as relax the airway muscles.
    • Dual purpose relievers that are used to treat breakthrough symptoms and work by relaxing airway muscles and providing anti-inflammatory action at the same time.

    Some people with asthma require additional medication to maintain good health, including add-on medications and injectable medications for people with asthma which is difficult to control. Asthma Australias website provides more detailed information about the different types of asthma medications.

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    Have Questions Ask Your Allergist

    You may have concerns about your asthma medications because of price or possible side effects. If you have any of these or other concerns, ask your allergist.

    Your allergist will work with you to find the right medication or combination to manage your asthma and will adjust the dosage based on your symptoms and how well-controlled your asthma is. The goal is to have you feeling your best with the least amount of medication. Your allergist will teach you how to use your medications as part of your treatment plan. If possible, your allergist will also help you save money by prescribing a non-brand name medication or by adjusting your treatment plan. Its important to learn what your choices are and what is going to work for you.

    Although there is not yet a cure for asthma, the symptoms are controllable. Allergists are specially trained to help you manage chronic allergies and asthma, so you can live the life you want. Treatment can allow a normal active lifestyle. Its time to take control of your asthma and start enjoying life again! If you dont already have one its time to find an allergist.

    How Do These Medicines Work Together

    Quick-relief medicines are important during a flare-up because they help you breathe more easily right away. If your doctor has prescribed quick-relief medicine, you should always have it with you at school, on the basketball court, at the mall, and even on vacation.

    But quick-relief medicines wear off quickly. And they don’t do anything to help prevent a flare-up from happening in the first place. That’s where long-term control medicine comes in. You might not notice long-term control medicine doing anything, but it’s working behind the scenes to keep you from getting asthma flare-ups.

    As the name suggests, long-term control medicine is important for controlling asthma on a regular basis. If your doctor thinks you’re needing quick-relief medicine too often, he or she might also prescribe long-term control medicine.

    Some people with mild asthma use only quick-relief medicines. Most people who have more severe asthma have to take long-term control medicine every day, as well as use quick-relief medicine when they have asthma symptoms. Your doctor will decide what type of medicine you need and how often you need to take it.

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