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Anti- Asthmatic Drugs

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Anti-Asthmatic Drugs are medicines that are used to treat or prevent asthma attacks. Asthma medicines play a vital role in gaining good control of asthma. They are available in the form of sprays, pills, powders, liquids and shots.

What is Asthma ?

Asthma is a disease that affects the airways that carry air to and from your lungs. The inside walls of an asthma patient's airways are inflamed, whcih make the airways extremely sensitive to irritations. With increased inflammation, the airways become narrower and the patient faces breathing problem. Asthma attacks can be caused by allergies to pollen, dust, pets etc. People without known allergies can also suffer from asthmatic attacks. Exercise, intense emotions, stress, exposure to cold, certain medicines and some medical conditions also can bring on attacks.

Types of Athmatic Drugs

There are two main types of medicines for asthma:

  • Bronchodilators: These drugs relax the smooth muscles that tighten around the airway. The airways thus open wide and more and more air pass through them. Bronchodilators mainly relieve sudden asthma attacks. They can be inhaled, injected ot taken by mouth.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs: This is the most common type of treatment for asthmatic patients because they prevent asthma attacks on an ongoing basis. Some common anti-inflammatory are Cromolyn and Corticosteroids. Both the medicines need to be taken regularly to prevent asthma attacks. They cannot stop an attack that already has started. The drug works by preventing certain cells in the body from releasing substances that cause allergic reactions or asthma symptoms.
Long-Term Asthma Medications

The two main causes of asthma are airway inflammation and acute bronchoconstriction (constriction of the airways). Preventing inflammation is the main way to preventing asthma attacks. Long-term control asthma medicines are needed to be taken on a regular basis for an extended time period so as to control persistent asthma. Some popular asthma medications for long term usage include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (Mast cell stabilizers)
  • Long acting beta-agonists
  • Theophylline
  • Leukotriene modifiers
  • Xolair

All these drugs need to taken with a doctor's preciption.

Non Prescription Asthma Medicines

The most common over-the-counteror non prescription asthma drugs are Primatene Mist and Bronkaid. They both work like a bronchodilator and provide only short-term relief but can not control asthma symptoms or prevent asthma attacks.

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