Learn About Asthma Medications

Asthma medications don’t have to be a mystery.

Presently, there are several brands that are used to treat this disease. If you have this breathing problem, then you should know that there is a simple way to control it: the faithful use of asthma drugs.

Three major types of drugs are used by the medical community to treat and prevent symptoms: bronchodilators, anti-inflammatory, and corticosteroids.

The Importance Of Asthma Medications

The unfortunate thing about asthma is that you cannot grow out of and it cannot be cured. Its symptoms can only be managed and there are various types of asthma medications available for this purpose. 

During an asthma attack, the lung airways swell and narrow in response to allergens. At the same time, they produce mucous which makes breathing very difficult. This causes shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing that ranges from simply annoying to being life threatening.

Asthma medication helps to relax the lung airways so that a sufferer can breathe better. Asthma medications work solo or together to alleviate asthma symptoms. Your doctor will prescribe medications based upon your symptoms and the severity of your attacks.

The following describes these drugs:


Bronchodilators reverse the tightness of the airways by dilating, or relaxing the muscles. These can be a short or long-term medication. When symptoms initially appear, a person is usually given a medication, such as albuterol, to open the airways and relieve the symptoms. Because these attacks can become milder or severe at any time, it is important to be under the immediate care of a doctor.

Bronchodilators are often used as a rescue inhaler in an emergency situation. They can relieve wheezing and shortness of breath immediately. But they cannot be used too frequently or they lose their effectiveness.


Anti-inflammatory medications stop future attacks by decreasing the redness and swelling of irritated lungs. After reviewing the symptoms, the severity of the attacks, and possible triggers, a doctor will plan a long-term treatment of anti-inflammatory drugs to take on a daily basis.

If your symptoms appear to be moderate to severe, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory to prevent future episodes. This type of drug is not meant to immediately relieve symptoms such as wheezing so it cannot be used in an emergency situation.


Asthma comes in many forms, from mild to severe. When diagnostic tests show that asthma is a severe problem, another form of medication can be used. For long term sufferers of asthma where standard bronchodilators and anti-inflammatories do not work as well, doctors can prescribe corticosteroids. This type of steroid reduces the hypersensitivity of the lungs and consequently the overreaction to triggers.

If your doctor prescribes this type of medication, you will need to take it on a regular basis to prevent complications. 

Side Effects

Some people can take asthma medication with no ill effects. With others, a number of side effects have been reported. They include bruising, infection, cataracts, glaucoma, headache, stomach upset, rashes, cough, itching, shortness of breath, liver abnormalities, rash, sore throat, and viral illness to name a few. It is obvious that medications must be closely supervised by a doctor.

Overall, the goal of medical treatment is to control asthma symptoms as well as stop future episodes. 

More Information
On The Safest Asthma Treatments

Many people with asthma find fewer complications when they find a management plan that really works. Read The SAFE Asthma Treatment Guide and discover the four steps to controlling asthma.  

With a little help from your doctor and the right plan of action, you can control your wheezing so that you can breathe easier.

And remember … any asthma treatment prescribed by a physician should always be taken as ordered, even if there are no symptoms. Your doctor is the gatekeeper to keeping you healthy.

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