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Discussion in 'All Categories' started by Akhilendra - Jun 17th, 2024 9:16 am.
I have asthama. What medications will I need to take, and how do they work? Are there any side effects of these medications?
re: Asthama by Dr. B. S. Bhalla - Jun 17th, 2024 9:46 am
Dr. B. S. Bhalla
Dr. B. S. Bhalla
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that involves inflammation and narrowing of the airways, making breathing difficult. The treatment usually involves two main types of medications: long-term control medications and quick-relief (or rescue) medications.

Long-Term Control Medications

Inhaled Corticosteroids (e.g., fluticasone, budesonide):

How they work: These medications reduce inflammation in the airways, preventing asthma symptoms and attacks.

Side effects: Possible side effects include oral thrush (a fungal infection in the mouth), hoarseness, and, rarely, osteoporosis with long-term use.

Long-Acting Beta Agonists (LABAs) (e.g., salmeterol, formoterol):

How they work: LABAs help to relax the muscles around the airways, keeping them open for a longer period.

Side effects: These include increased heart rate, tremors, and, in rare cases, severe asthma attacks if not used with inhaled corticosteroids.

Leukotriene Modifiers (e.g., montelukast, zafirlukast):

How they work: These medications block the action of leukotrienes, which cause airway inflammation and constriction.

Side effects: Potential side effects include headache, dizziness, and, rarely, mood changes or suicidal thoughts.

Combination Inhalers (e.g., fluticasone/salmeterol, budesonide/formoterol):

How they work: These inhalers combine inhaled corticosteroids and LABAs to provide both anti-inflammatory and bronchodilating effects.

Side effects: Side effects are similar to those of the individual components.

How it works: This medication helps to open airways by relaxing the muscles around them.

Side effects: Side effects include nausea, insomnia, and, in higher doses, heart palpitations or seizures.

Quick-Relief (Rescue) Medications

Short-Acting Beta Agonists (SABAs) (e.g., albuterol, levalbuterol):

How they work: SABAs provide rapid relief by relaxing the muscles around the airways, making it easier to breathe.

Side effects: Possible side effects include increased heart rate, tremors, and nervousness.
Anticholinergics (e.g., ipratropium):

How they work: These medications help to relax the muscles around the airways and reduce mucus production.

Side effects: Potential side effects include dry mouth, cough, and, in rare cases, urinary retention.

Oral and Intravenous Corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone, methylprednisolone):

How they work: These medications reduce severe inflammation during an asthma attack.

Side effects: Short-term side effects include increased appetite, weight gain, mood swings, and elevated blood pressure. Long-term use can lead to more serious effects such as osteoporosis, cataracts, and muscle weakness.

Additional Considerations

Biologics (e.g., omalizumab, mepolizumab): These are injectable medications used for severe asthma that doesn't respond to other treatments. They target specific pathways in the immune system to reduce inflammation and prevent asthma attacks.

Side effects: Possible side effects include injection site reactions, headache, and an increased risk of infections.

Managing Side Effects

To minimize the side effects of asthma medications:

Use a spacer with inhalers to reduce the risk of oral thrush from inhaled corticosteroids.

Rinse your mouth after using inhaled corticosteroids.

Follow the prescribed dosage and schedule for all medications.

Report any unusual symptoms or side effects to your doctor promptly.

Your doctor will tailor your asthma treatment plan to your specific needs, and it may involve trying different medications or adjusting dosages to find what works best for you. Regular follow-up appointments are important to monitor your condition and make necessary adjustments to your treatment.
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