What Are the Prescribed Drugs for Asthma?
Around 25 million US citizens suffer from asthma. That means about 1 in 13 people need to get medication for this chronic lung disease.
However, there are several types of asthma medications on the market, so it’s important to learn about which one is correct for your specific situation.
In this article, we’ll tell you what you need to know about the different drugs for asthma and who needs to take them.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects a person’s lungs. Although it is one of the most common long-term diseases for children, adults can also have asthma as well. It has several symptoms, including:
- Chest tightness
- Coughing in the early morning or at night
A person who has asthma has it all of the time. However, asthma attacks only happen when something bothers the lungs. Triggers include things like cold air, allergens, exercise, stress, and tobacco smoke.
Although we aren’t 100% sure about what causes asthma, genetic, environmental, and occupational factors are the main contributors. If you have an immediate family member who suffers from asthma, you are likely to have it as well.
Classes of Drugs for Asthma
When it comes to asthma relief, there are two main categories of prescription drugs. Patients use them in different situations, so it is important to understand how they work.
The first type of medication is more of a “maintenance” medicine that helps give long-term control of asthma attacks. This is used regularly to control and prevent attacks.
The other type is a “rescue” medication that gives quick relief. Patients use these whenever flare-ups happen so that they can quickly control the attack.
Let’s take a look at the different classes of asthma drugs.
These are drugs that have monoclonal antibodies that can regulate the immune system’s response to certain allergens. These fall under the category of “maintenance” medicines.
Some side effects include flu-like symptoms and pain or itching.
These are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs. These are inhaled so that the medicine goes directly into the lungs. They are highly effective as “maintenance” medicines and don’t have many side effects.
Leukotriene modifiers lower the chemicals that cause swelling or inflammation inside the lungs. This is often prescribed by doctors as a secondary or add-on for long-term medicine. Although it is very rare, one side effect of this medicine is liver problems.
Long-acting Beta Agonists (LABAs)
This class of medications is called bronchodilators. They function by opening the patient’s airways to give them long-term control. These need to be used together with inhaled corticosteroids, because using them alone can actually increase the risk of dangerous asthma attacks.
Short-acting Beta Agonists (SABAs)
SABAs are also considered bronchodilators. However, they are not long-term medications. They act as rescue medicines because they can work very quickly to relax and open up the airways.
Side effects include shakiness, headaches, dizziness, and nervousness.
Common Medications for Asthma
After deciding which class of medication you should take, your doctor will need to find the correct medicine inside that class. This could take some trial and error to find the one that works the best for you. Let’s look at 10 of the most common ones.
1. Albuterol (Accuneb, Ventolin HFA, Proair HFA, Proventil HFA)
Albuterol is a short-acting beta agonist. It is a nebulizer solution that can give those with asthma attacks quick relief. It is one of the most commonly prescribed rescue medications used.
2. Beclomethasone (Beclovent, QVAR)
This medication is an inhaled corticosteroid. It is typically taken twice a day to provide long-term control for those with asthma. Doctors recommend rinsing your mouth and spitting it out after using this medicine to avoid any other side effects.
3. Budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler, Pulmicort)
This inhaled corticosteroid comes in two forms: an inhaler or a nebulizer solution. It is taken twice a day.
4. Budesonide/Formoterol (Symbicort)
This medication is a combination of a long-acting beta-agonist and an inhaled corticosteroid. Take this with an inhaler twice a day for long-term control.
5. Fluticasone (Flovent HFA)
This is another popular inhaled corticosteroid. Take this twice a day for long-term control.
6. Fluticasone/Vilanterol (Breo Ellipta)
This is another combination of two different types of asthma classes: an inhaled corticosteroid and a LABA. It is only taken once a day.
7. Mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler)
This inhaled corticosteroid comes in inhaler form. It is taken once or twice a day depending on what your doctor prescribes.
8. Mometasone/Formoterol (Dulera)
This combination drug includes a LABA and an inhaled corticosteroid. It is used twice a day.
9. Montelukast (Singulair)
This type of asthma medication is a leukotriene modifier. It has several different forms, including a tablet, chewable tablet, and dissolvable granules. It is taken once a day at night for long-term asthma maintenance.
10. Omalizumab (Xolair)
This medication is immunomodulatory. Your doctor will inject this medicine under the skin. Usually, patients will receive an injection every two to four weeks. This is necessary to maintain control over a long period of time.
How to Control Asthma
Although medications play a crucial part in asthma control, there are other things you need to keep in mind to control asthma.
Make sure you always have your rescue medication close by in case of an attack. Check the date of your inhaler regularly to make sure that it doesn’t expire.
If an attack happens, make sure to keep as calm as possible and stand or sit up straight. If you lie down, it can constrict your airflow.
Unfortunately, there are no medically proven home treatments for asthma attacks, but there are a few complimentary treatments that can help to depend on the person. They include:
- Caffeinated tea or coffee
- Eucalyptus essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Breathing exercises
Make sure to keep your home clean of any triggers. If you smoke, try your best to quit.
Get Your Asthma Prescription Delivered Today
That’s everything you need to know about the different types of drugs for asthma. Once you find the right type of asthma medication, it’s important to always have it readily available to you.
However, we know that prescription medicines can be expensive, especially when you need them regularly for the rest of your life. If you’re struggling to afford your medication, look no further than Canadian Pharmacy Online.
We’ll get your medication to you without breaking the bank. Check us out today!