Asthma Medications (cont.)
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Are There Over-the-Counter Asthma Drugs?
Yes. The most common over-the-counter asthma drugs are Primatene Mist and Bronkaid. They both work like a bronchodilator, relaxing the muscles around the airways. They provide short-term relief (20-30 minutes), but do not control asthma symptoms or prevent asthma attacks. People with high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, or heart disease should not take Primatene Mist or Bronkaid.
Unfortunately, many people misuse or overuse these asthma treatments. The over-the-counter drugs are not meant for long-term use, yet some people use them every day to relieve asthma symptoms. Because they do not control asthma, people who take them may not be receiving proper treatment of their asthma.
If you are using an over-the-counter asthma drugs and are still experiencing frequent asthma symptoms, talk to your doctor. And if you are taking prescribed asthma drugs but are using over-the-counter medications occasionally, tell your doctor this as well. You do not want to be taking more medicine than you need.
Can Allergy Shots Be Used to Treat Asthma?
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Some recent studies have shown that when you give allergy shots (immunotherapy) to children with allergies, not only do their allergy symptoms improve, but they are also less likely to develop asthma. Also, since many cases of asthma are triggered by allergies, it makes sense that if you control the allergies, you will have fewer asthma attacks.
Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for allergy shots.
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