The goal of long-term medication is to reduce and prevent inflammation of the airways that can trigger asthma attacks. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the acronym is NHLBI ), the drugs long-term control may be recommended for people who:
- Experience asthma symptoms three or more times a week.
- Experience asthma symptoms at night three or more times per month.
Medications to control long-term asthma may include:
- Inhaled corticosteroids - anti-inflammatory medication that prevents swelling of the airways when exposed to asthma triggers . Steroids, which also reduce mucus in the lungs, are sometimes used to prevent and control asthma as mild, moderate and severe.
- Cromolyn and nedocromil - nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often used to treat children with mild asthma . (Cromolyn and nedocromil can not stop symptoms during an asthma attack. They are only used to prevent these from occurring.)
- Long-acting beta2 agonists - mainly used to control moderate to severe asthma and prevent nighttime symptoms, these bronchodilator medications relax the muscles around the tightened airways so that they are reopened. These drugs do not reduce inflammation, so they are often prescribed along with anti-inflammatory drugs, such as an inhaled steroid.
- Sustained-release theophylline tablets or sustained-release beta2-agonists - bronchodilators used to prevent nighttime symptoms. Theophylline needs to build up in the bloodstream over time to be effective in the treatment of asthma.
- Leukotriene Modifiers - These drugs block the action of chemicals called leukotrienes, which are white blood cells and may cause inflammation and narrowing of the airways. Leukotriene modifiers can not stop symptoms during an asthma attack. Only used to prevent from occurring . Leukotriene modifiers seem to be more effective in people with aspirin-sensitive asthma (a type of asthma triggered by an allergic reaction to aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug).
Examples of medicines to control asthma long-term
|CATEGORY||EXAMPLES OF GENERIC MEDICATION|
|Inhaled corticosteroids||Beclomethasone, budesonide, flunisolide, fluticasone, triamcinolone.|
|Inhaled cromolyn and nedocromil||Sodium cromoglycate, nedocromil sodium.|
|Leukotriene modifiers (tablets).||Zafirlukast, zileuton.|
|Beta2 agonists for prolonged action||Salmeterol (inhaled), albuterol (tablets).|
|Theophylline (fluid pills).||Teofilina.|