Asthma (drug treatment) is a condition that affects the lungs causing inflammation and swelling in the airways and leading to breathing difficulties. Asthma treatment typically involves drug therapy to ease breathing.

This film discusses the delivery methods of asthmatic drugs to ease the symptoms of asthma.

Asthma drug treatment

Both rescue and control of asthma medications can be delivered through a variety of methods however the majority of all asthma medication is inhaled. Inhalation allows the medication to travel directly to where it is needed – the lungs. It also has the added benefit of limiting exposure of other areas of the body to the medicine reducing the risk of side effects.

What asthma inhalers are available?

Inhalers come in three different styles – Metered dose, dry powder and nebulisers. A metered dose inhaler holds the medicine in a pressurised canister which when activated by a propellant delivers a measured dose in an aerosol spray. Doctors recommend that metered dose inhalers be used with an extension device to separate the propellant from the medicine. Because they are portable and easy to operate metered dose inhalers are typically used for rescue drugs.

A dry powder inhaler does not use a propellant, instead a powdered medication is loaded into a mouthpiece, the patient then takes a quick breath to inhale the medicine. Dry powder inhalers are commonly used to deliver controller medicine.

A nebuliser is a machine that converts asthma medication into a fine mist, the patient then inhales the mist through a tube-like mouthpiece or a rubber mask. Because they require little effort from the patient nebulisers tend to be prescribed to small children and infants and are often used in emergency situations. Nebulisers can deliver both rescue and control medications.

Vital treatment methods for asthma

Drugs play a vital role in treating asthma but Doctors agree that they are most effective when patients work to prevent an attack from happening in the first place. The key to that prevention is identifying the trigger that causes asthma attacks and avoiding them whenever possible.

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