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Asthma in Teens and Adults - Medications

What to think about

One of the best tools for managing asthma is a daily controller medicine that has a corticosteroid ("steroid"). But some people worry about taking steroid medicines because of myths they've heard about them. If you're making a decision about a steroid inhaler, it helps to know the facts.

At the start of asthma treatment, the number and dosage of medicines are chosen to get the asthma under control. Your doctor may start you at a higher dose within your asthma classification so that the inflammation is controlled right away. After the asthma has been controlled for several months, the dose of the last medicine added is reduced to the lowest possible dose that prevents symptoms. This is known as step-down care. Step-down care is believed to be a better way to control inflammation in the airways than starting at lower doses of medicine and increasing the dose if it is not enough.14

Because quick-relief medicine quickly reduces symptoms, people sometimes overuse these medicines instead of using the slower-acting long-term medicines. But overuse of quick-relief medicines may have harmful effects, such as reducing how well these medicines will work for you in the future.15

You may have to take more than one medicine each day to manage your asthma. Help yourself remember when to take each medicine, such as taping a note to your refrigerator to remind yourself.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, so he or she can choose asthma medicines that won't interfere with other medicines.

Some people only have symptoms during certain times of the year (seasonal asthma). If you know when you will most likely have symptoms, start using a medicine to decrease inflammation before the symptoms start.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 22, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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