People diagnosed with asthma will generally use two kinds of asthma inhalers. These inhalers contain different asthma medication to help you control your asthma symptoms. With the proper use of Asthma medication, you can prevent asthma attacks.
Most asthma medication is delivered through a device called an asthma inhaler or an asthma puffer. You can choose between aerosol inhalers or powder inhalers. The aerosol inhaler is a canister containing propellant with asthma medication suspended in it. It is pressurized, and will release when you press down on it, while breathing in. These provide a measured dose of medicine to your lungs. The Dry Powder inhaler is full of powdered asthma medication that you draw into your lungs. Some people find taking their medication in a powdered form is easier. However, it is sometimes difficult to get the right dose. You should consult your doctor about which method is best for you. You may want to try a variety of inhalers or puffers until you find one that you like. You may also need to work with your doctor or an asthma educator to learn how to use your inhaler correctly to ensure the medication makes it to your lungs.
One kind of asthma medication is referred to as a short acting bronchodilator, or reliever. You may also hear them referred to as rescue medication. There are a variety of rescue medications that may be prescribed to you. Just a few examples include Fenoterol, Formoterol, Ipratropium, Isoproterenol, Orciprenaline, Salbutamol or Terbutaline. These are sold under names such as Berotec, Foradil, Atrovent, Isuprel, Alupent, and Ventoline.
There are some side effects of these asthma medications. They may include tremors, restlessness, and increased heart rate. Your relievers are used in the case of an asthma attack. They work to relax the muscles in the airways. You should always carry your reliever with you because an attack can occur at any time. Some inhalers count the number of doses you use, so you know how much is left. Some people are also advised to use them before exercise. If you need to use your short acting puffer five times a week, on top of your pre-exercise dose, you should talk to your doctor. This means your asthma is not under control. If this is the case, you may need to adjust the dosage of your controller medication.
Asthma control medication provides long acting drugs to target the inflammation in your airways. These may take a week or two to be effective. They should help control your symptoms in the end. The goal is to prevent asthma attacks. You usually take your controller medication once before bed, and once in the morning.
Asthma medication can contain corticosteroids. You produce these hormones naturally. The asthma medication is a very small dose to target inflammation. Corticosteroids are not used as performance enhancing drugs. This asthma medication is considered safe. It is delivered directly to the lungs where it is needed. Oral steroids lose their effectiveness as they travel through your blood stream. They also have more side effects.
You do not have to have severe asthma to be prescribed corticosteroids. They work effectively for mild or moderate attacks as well. You should not stop taking asthma medication without talking to your doctor. Your symptoms can easily return.
An oral medication called Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists can be used to prevent asthma in some cases. They block the chemical reaction in your body that causes inflammation. This is a daily asthma medication. It can come in pill form, chewable tablets, or granules. It has very few side effects. These asthma medications are often used in conjunction with corticosteroids.