Asthma in Teens and Adults - Medications
The right medicine for you
Medicine treatment for asthma depends on your age and type of asthma, and how well the treatment is controlling your asthma
- The least amount of medicine that controls the asthma
symptoms is used.
- The amount of medicine and number of medicines
are increased in steps. So if asthma isn't controlled at a low dose of one
controller medicine, the dose may be increased. Or another medicine may be
- If the asthma has been under control for several months at a
certain dose of medicine, the dose may be reduced. This can help find the least
amount of medicine that will control the asthma.
medicine is used to treat asthma attacks. But if you need to use
quick-relief medicine a lot, the amount and number of controller medicines may
Your doctor will work with you to help find the number and
dose of medicines that work best.
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.12
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.13