Asthma medication plays a key role in gaining good control of your asthma. Asthma is a chronic (lifelong) disease that involves inflammation of the airways superimposed with recurrent episodes of decreased airflow, mucus production, and cough. Choosing the proper asthma medication is crucial in avoiding asthma attacks and living an active life.
Treatment with asthma medication focuses on:
There are two general types of asthma medication which can give you long-term control or quick relief of symptoms.
These asthma medications can be administered in different ways. Successful treatment should allow you to live an active and normal life. If your asthma symptoms are not in good control, you should contact your doctor for advice and look at a different asthma medication that may work best for you.
NOTE: A newer asthma medication, called Xolair, works by inhibiting the allergic reaction that often causes constriction of the airways. It works by blocking proteins in the immune system from becoming activated, an underlying cause of allergic asthma symptoms.
Long-Term Control Asthma Medications
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Doctors and asthma specialists recognize that asthma has two main components: airway inflammation and acute bronchoconstriction (constriction of the airways). Research has shown that reducing and preventing further inflammation is the key to preventing asthma attacks, hospitalizations, and death from asthma.
Long-term control asthma medications are taken daily over an extended period of time to achieve and maintain control of persistent asthma (asthma that causes symptoms more than twice a week and frequent attacks that affect activity).
The most effective long-term control asthma medications are those that stop airway inflammation (anti-inflammatory drugs), but there are others that are often used along with anti-inflammatory drugs to enhance their effect.
Long-term control asthma medications include:
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