Asthma Medications - Experience

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Long-Term Control Asthma Medications

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:

  • Corticosteroids (The inhaled form is the anti-inflammatory drug of choice for persistent asthma.)

  • Mast cell stabilizers (anti-inflammatory drugs)

  • Long acting beta-agonists (bronchodilators often used along with an anti-inflammatory drug)

  • Theophylline (a bronchodilator used along with an anti-inflammatory drug to prevent nighttime symptoms)

  • Leukotriene modifiers (an alternative to steroids and mast cell stabilizers)

  • Xolair (an injectable asthma medication used when inhaled steroids for asthma failed to control asthma symptoms in people with moderate to severe asthma who also have allergies)
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