What treatment options do I have available for my asthma?*
Fortunately with research advancements done in the field of asthma, many more treatment options are available to the asthma patient today. The choices range from inhalers, oral medication to immunotherapy and injections. Let us look at what the doctor could be prescribing as per her/his assessment of your condition:
1. Inhalers: (Check drug literature for details of how to be used, frequency and dosage of the medication to be administered or taken as well as their side-effects and contraindications. If in doubt, consult your doctor before using them.) Remember that each drug/chemical has it’s own impact and will be prescribed to you depending on your condition, tolerability, medical history etc.
a. Beta-2-Agonists (Short-acting). These have a short (2-4 hour) coverage and help reduce the symptoms of asthma. However, they neither treat nor prevent it from recurring. Corticosteroids will relax the smooth muscles on the interior of the bronchi (as well as other organs) which help it to dilate back to normal size and shape. Glucocorticostreroid chemicals Salbutamol, Levosalbutamol, Fenoterol, Procaterol, Metaproterenol, Terbutaline, Bitolterol Mesylate. Brand names vary in countries for these chemicals..
b. Corticosteroids – These enable reduction of swelling and inflammation of the inner walls of the bronchi. Chemical Beclomethasome, Triamcinalone, Flunisolide, Fluticasone, Budesonide. Brand names vary in countries for these chemicals.
c. Leukotreine Antagonists – These drugs inhibit the production of fatty cells called leukotreins in the immune system that cause the inflammation and constrict the airway passage. In general, they are less effective than corticosteroids. Chemicals Montelukast and Zafirlukast. Brand names vary in countries for these chemicals.
d. Beta-2-Agonists (Long-acting). Chemicals such as Salmeterol, Formoterol, Bambuterol, Clenbuterol. Brand names vary in countries for these chemicals. Studies have shown that regular usage of this drug can prove harmful in the long run. And may also cause fatality among patients.