There are different types of asthma medications. Some are taken orally, and some are inhaled either by a hand-held inhaler and spacer device, or by a nebulizer machine. Asthma medications have two basic actions: one is to relieve the symptoms ("rescue" medicines) and the other is to treat the underlying inflammation, in order to control and prevent attacks from happening ("controller" medications). Here are some details. RESCUE OR RELIEVER MEDICATIONS Inhaled steroids are given by inhaler or by nebulizer. Bronchodilators
As with rescue medications, when given by hand-held inhaler, we recommend always using a spacer device. Leukotriene Inhibitors
Leukotriene inhibitors, for example Singulair, are also used to prevent asthma attacks and control asthma symptoms. They work by preventing the release of These medications are used during an asthma attack to inflammatory substances. They are available as relieve symptoms, and are known as “beta agonists.” They work quickly to relax the muscles lining the airways. The airways open up, and allow the patient to Combination medications
breathe more easily. These medications act fast, often working within 10-15 minutes, and their effect typically lasts for four hours. Rescue medications can be given by inhaler or by nebulizer. When asthma medicines are given by hand-held inhalers, we recommend always For patients who need additional treatment to achieve using a "spacer" device, which is an attachment for the control of their asthma, sometimes we prescribe a inhaler that makes it easier to use successfully. combination medication such as Advair, which includes a LABA (long-acting beta agonist) and an Inhaled Steroids
Oral Steroids
If your child has a more severe asthma attack, oral steroids may be used for short periods of time (3-10 days). They work to quickly reduce airway Inhaled steroids are used to help control and improve inflammation to allow your child to breathe more ongoing asthma symptoms, and to prevent asthma easily. Oral steroids don’t reduce growth or have any attacks. And as with rescue medications, there are major side effects when they are used this way, as many brands -- some common ones listed above. They long as the treatments are not frequent or prolonged. work by reducing airway inflammation. By decreasing By keeping your child’s asthma under good control, inflammation and swelling, they help keep the airways our goal is to prevent the need for oral steroids, and open, so the patient may breathe more easily. These to avoid emergency room visits completely! We want medications typically take a couple days to start to follow your child in the office on a regular basis and working, and about a week before they reach their full effect. That is why they must be used consistently.


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