The above listed medications can be used in different ways. Successful treatment should allow you to return to a normal and active life. If asthma symptoms cannot be controlled, then you should contact your doctor to review your asthma treatment program.
Drug treatment focuses on such points:
- Taking drugs that control inflammation and prevent the exacerbation of chronic symptoms such as coughing or choking during sleep, early in the morning or after exercise (long-term medications).
- Medication for stopping the onset of an asthma attack (fast-acting drugs).
- Avoiding asthma pathogens.
- Daily monitoring of asthma symptoms (diary entries).
- Daily use of pneumotachometer to monitor lung function.
There are two main types of long- or fast-acting drugs:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs. This is a very important type of therapy for most asthmatics, since these medications prevent asthma attacks at the very beginning. Steroids, the so-called corticosteroids, are the main type of anti-inflammatory drugs for people with asthma. These drugs reduce swelling and mucus formation in the airways. As a result, the airways become less sensitive and do not react so acutely to the causative agents of asthma.
- Bronchodilators These drugs relieve asthma symptoms by relaxing the muscles that constrict the airways. These drugs quickly expand the airways, allowing oxygen to freely enter and leave the lungs. As a result, breathing is normalized. Bronchodilators also help clear the lungs of excess mucus. Since the airways are sufficiently dilated, the mucus can pass freely through them and, accordingly, it is easily expectorated.
Note : The new drug, called Xolair, suppresses the allergic reaction that most often causes blocking of the airways. It does not allow the protein of the immune system (which is the cause of the worsening symptoms of allergic asthma) to take action.
Doctors and asthma treatment specialists believe that asthma consists of two main elements: inflammatory processes in the airways and acute bronchostenosis (narrowing of the bronchus lumen). Studies have shown that reducing and preventing the further development of inflammatory processes is a key element in the prevention of an asthma attack, hospitalization and death.
Long-acting drugs are taken daily for a long period of time in order to achieve and maintain control over the symptoms of chronic asthma (asthma, which causes the worsening of symptoms more than twice a week and frequent attacks that affect the daily activities of a person).
The most effective long-acting drugs used to treat asthma are those that stop inflammatory processes (anti-inflammatory drugs), but there are others that are used together with anti-inflammatory drugs to increase their effect.
For long-acting drugs include:
- Corticosteroids (inhaled form of anti-inflammatory drugs used in chronic asthma)
- Mast cell stabilizer (anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Long acting beta agonist (bronchodilators, often used with anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Theophylline (bronchodilator used with anti-inflammatory drugs to prevent nighttime asthma attacks)
- Leukotriene modifier (alternative to steroids and mast cell stabilizer)
- Xolair (an injectable drug that is used when inhaled steroids do not help people with moderate to severe asthma symptoms, as well as allergies)
These drugs are used to quickly stop an asthma attack (coughing, chest tightness, wheezing – all signs of bronchostenosis).
These drugs include:
- A fast acting beta-agonist (bronchodilators used to stop an asthma attack and exacerbate stress asthma symptoms)
- Anticholinergic (bronchodilators used in combination with a fast-acting beta-agonist when necessary, or as an alternative to other drugs)
- Systemic corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory drugs that are used in extreme cases to quickly stop an attack and restore the body’s health)
Asthma medications play a major role in the treatment and control of asthma. Asthma is a chronic disease (which can last a lifetime), which results in an increase in inflammatory processes in the respiratory tract, interspersed with recurrences of narrowing of the respiratory tract, increasing the formation of mucus and cough. Choosing the right medications is the most important thing in preventing asthma attacks and returning to a normal active lifestyle.