Asthma Medication- Treatment Overview
Asthma medications are used to provide short-acting relief and long-term management of asthma. With Patricia (Nurse Pattye) Anderson, FNP bc, you can request an asthma medication prescription online and get the asthma inhaler or pills you need delivered to you or at a local pharmacy.
Asthma Prescription Medication Options
Asthma medications can be divided into several categories. Some asthma medications are available in an inhaler form and provide relief during an acute asthma exacerbation. Examples of quick-relief asthma inhalers are medications based on albuterol sulfate such as Proventil and Ventolin. Other medications used in the treatment of asthma include long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs), inhaled and oral corticosteroids such as prednisone, anticholinergic agents such as ipratropium (Atrovent HFA) and Spiriva (tiotropium), leukotriene modifier medications such as montelukast (Singulair), and combination medications such as Symbicort. Mast cell blockers such as cromolyn sodium are also used preventatively. Combination medications such as Combivent and DuoNeb are also used to administer multiple medications at the same time.
Long-Acting Beta Agonists (LABAs) for Asthma
In addition to rescue medications used during acute asthma exacerbations, other medications are also often prescribed to help with the long-term management of someone with asthma. While albuterol and levalbuterol (Xopenex) are both short-acting beta-agonists, long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs) such as salmeterol (Serevent) and are available and have a longer duration of action. LABAs are usually taken at the same time as inhaled corticosteroids.
Inhaled Corticosteroids for Asthma
Inhaled corticosteroid (steroid) medications are commonly used to reduce inflammation in the airways of an asthmatic person. Examples of an inhaled steroid medication for asthma include fluticasone (Arnuity Ellipta and Flonase), budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler), mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler), beclomethasone (Qvar RediHaler), and ciclesonide (Alvesco inhalation aerosol). Another class of medications are the leukotriene modifiers which can help reduce symptoms for a period of time. Leukotriene modifier medications include montelukast (Singulair), zafirlukast (Accolate) and zileuton (Zyflo), all of which are oral medications.
Combination Beta-Agonist / Corticosteroid Asthma Inhalers
For added convenience, LABAs and inhaled corticosteroid medications are often combined into one form. Common combination beta2-agonist / inhaled corticosteroid medications include Symbicort, Dulera, Advair and Wixela. Breo Ellipta also contains an inhaled steroid combined with a LABA medication.
Interleukin Blocker Medications
In some cases, medications that block interleukins and other inflammatory mediators are used for preventative therapy of asthma. An example of these types of medications includes Dupixent.
Asthma Treatment – Medication Effectiveness
When used properly, asthma medications and inhalers provide relief for many people with asthma symptoms and especially during an asthma exacerbation. However, while asthma medications can help people manage their asthma symptoms, they do not work in every person. Additionally, the effects of any asthma treatment can stop working if one stops using the asthma medication.
Asthma Medications – Side Effects
All asthma inhalers and medications can cause side effects. Side effects that can occur when one is being treated for asthma include a rapid heart rate, nervousness, high blood pressure, and stomach pain. While safe in many people, asthma medications can, rarely, also cause an allergic reaction. Many side effects will go away once the asthma inhaler or medication is discontinued. Questions about asthma medications and inhalers are best discussed with one’s pharmacist and licensed medical provider.
Asthma Medication Prescriptions – Online
One cannot simply buy most types of asthma medications online. Asthma medications need to be prescribed by a licensed medical provider after which they can be dispensed by a pharmacy. Patricia (Nurse Pattye) Anderson, FNP bc can provide asthma medications prescriptions if it is safe to do so.