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An Overview of Common Long Term Asthma Control Medications

Long-term control medicines help reduce airway inflammation and prevent symptoms, so if a person has secere asthmatic attacks; they should use the long-term versus the short-term therapy.

For example, some allergy shots should be used for specific allergies: fur, pets, air pollution, clothing, sprays, etc. Although you can alleviate some for these by keeping pets out of the bedroom, by not going outside during a certain time of the day or certain days, or by not wearing certain clothing.

Some long-term medications will have side effects; however, the benefits outweigh the risks of the side effects.

These medications, taken over a long period, will prevent symptoms from starting; however, they do not give you quick relief from symptoms. They should be taken for at least four months to determine if they will work for you. If they do not; you should tell your physician.

Inhaled corticosteroids – The preferred long-term control medication for asthma. It helps prevent the chain reaction that causes asthma symptoms. It is very safe when taken as prescribed and is not habit-forming and can be taken daily for years. It is usually prescribed for mild cases of asthma.

Research has shown that people who use the inhaled corticosteroids who have either moderate to severe asthma avoid being hospitalized or even death. It is allegedly under-prescribed in those who need it the most.

Oral corticosteroids – Is usually only used with severe, persistent bouts of asthma or acute exacerbations.

Steroids are not prescribed to relax the airways. They reduce inflammation and prevent permanent injury in the lungs. Beta 2-agonists – An inhaled long-acting medication that lasts between eight and twelve hours when added to inhaled corticosteroids.

Leukotriene Modifiers -An oral medication for adults and children two years and older. They can also be used with inhaled corticosteroids. Blocks chain reaction that increases inflammation in airways. There are side effects.Do not use to treat for acute asthmatic attacks.

Cromolyn Sodium – An aerosol to inhale by mouth three to four times per day to prevent wheezing, shortness of breath, and troubled breathing. It should also be taken three to four weeks to work. Must be used with a special inhaler. These work best in children. Minimal side effects. They should be used prior to exercise.

Nedrocromil Oral Inhalation – Must be inhaled four times per day. If ineffective, it should be discontinued. Can also be used for children.

Theophylline – Bronchodilator to be used with Beta 2-agonists and other anti-inflammatory drugs.

There are two types of medications for long-term control: anti-inflammatory and bronchodilators. These are not prescribed unless the person has severe bouts of asthma. Many doctors wil prescribe the bronchodilatorand the anti-inflammatory supplements.