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Asthma

Your Asthma Medication Checklist

Last updated on:
16/03/2012

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Currently there are eight classes of drugs available to treat asthma:

Trade names

Generic names

Preventer drugs and drugs to control persistent asthma symptoms

 

1.Inhaled corticosteroids -These medications block the production or release of inflammatory chemicals in the body. Few side effects are produced by the inhaled drugs because of their local action in the lung.

 

- AeroBid; Bronalide

flunisolide

- Advair

fluticasone + salmeterol

- Azmacort

triamcinolone

- Beclovent; Vanceril

beclomethasone

- Flovent

fluticasone

- Pulmicort

budesonide

2. Long-acting beta2-bronchodilators - These cause relaxation of the muscle fibers surrounding the airways, thus opening up the narrowed passageways. These drugs are slowly cleared from the body; therefore, their bronchodilating effects last for a long time (about 12 hours).

 

- Serevent

salmeterol

- Foradil

formoterol

3. Theophylline bronchodilators - These cause relaxation of constricted airways by blocking the action of chemicals that cause contraction of muscles surrounding the airways. Oral, slow-release theophylline drugs are commonly used in asthma maintenance therapy. (A fast-acting intravenous form of theophylline is also available for emergency room treatment of severe asthma episodes.)

 

- Theo-Dur; Theolaire

theophylline

4. Oral corticosteroids - These medications block the production or release of inflammatory chemicals in the body. Oral administration of corticosteroids for a prolonged time can produce several undesirable side effects.

 

- Delta-Cortef

prednisolone

- Deltasone

prednisone

- Medrol; Solu-Medrol

methylprednisone

5. Nonsteroidal antiallergics- These medications block the release or action of inflammatory chemicals in the body, thus reducing the symptoms of inflammation, including relief of airway constriction.

 

- Intal

cromolyn

- Tilade

nedocromil

6. Leukotriene modifiers -These block the production or action of inflammatory chemicals called leukotrienes, thus reducing inflammation, relaxing the airways, and reducing mucus production.

 

Accolate

zafirlukast

Singulair

montelukast

Zyflo

zileuton

   

Rescue medication for use during an asthma attack.

 
   

7. Short-acting beta2-bronchodilators - These medications cause the muscle fibers surrounding the airways to relax, thus opening up the narrowed passageways. These drugs are rapidly cleared from the body, therefore, their effects last for a relatively short time (about 3 to 4 hours).

 

Brethaire; Bricanyl

terbutaline

Maxair

pirbuterol

Tornalate

bitolterol

Ventolin; Proventil

albuterol

8. Anticholinergic bronchodilators - These medications block the nerve responses that normally cause narrowing of airways. They are commonly used in combination with a beta2-bronchodilator such asalbuterol

 

Atrovent

ipratropium

 

 
 

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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.