- A person can prevent an attack of asthma by avoiding known allergens or triggers.
- A regular follow–up is necessary.
- The anti–inflammatory drugs which reduces the irritability of the airways and prevents wheezing are called ‘Preventers’.
- Preventive medicine, if used early, can help prevent coughs and wheezing and also prevents the disease from becoming chronic.
The drugs may be administered either by inhalation, orally, or by means of injections.
- Broncodilators relieve symptoms quickly and are therefore often referred to as ‘Relievers’.
- Drugs like salbutamol or terbutaline which relieve broncospasm are called broncodilators.
- Some patients get wheezing episodes quite infrequently like only once or twice a month and have mild attacks lasting only a few days. These patients need only broncodilators.
- Anticholinergic drugs are also useful in treating acute episodes but are not used often.
- Steroids reduce the inflammation within the airways in asthma and are highly effective.
Drugs can be given orally (tablets/syrups) or by the inhaled route. It is commonly thought that inhaled medicines are ‘Strong’ medicines and a person gets habituated and a patient becomes ‘Dependant’ on inhalers. But this is absolutely wrong. Actually, the medicine that is administered by inhalation works faster and are quite safe as they are in much lower doses and have fewer side–effects.
Your age for inhaling medicines
- It is administered in children above 12 years of age.
- A ‘Rotahaler’ is used to inhale medicines for children above six years of age.
- For children above four years, a ‘Spacer’ is used directly.
- For infants, a mask is attached to a spacer.
- A ‘Nebuliser’ is used in infants and children who are very breathless and cannot take inhaled medication.