Some Asthma Medications and Their Effects(2)

Generic name: Salbutamol

Salbutamol (sal-bue-tar-moll) is a medicine which is used in asthma and bronchospasm. It helps to keep the airways open, making it easier to breathe. Inhaled preparations of Salbutamol are fast acting. They can make your breathing easier and relieve bronchospasm within minutes. When you are having an asthma attack you should use a fast acting preparation of Salbutamol as directed by your prescriber. If your normal inhaled dose of Salbutamol does not give you the same amount of relief then you should contact your prescriber for more advice. They may want you to have additional treatment.

Generic name: Salmeterol

This is a long-acting beta2-adrenergic receptor agonist drug that is currently prescribed for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD). It is currently available as a dry powder inhaler that releases a powdered form of the drug. Before 2008, it was also available as a metered-dose inhaler (MDI).

Generic name: Prednisone, Prednisolone

Prednisone is an oral steroid medication. If you have serious worsening of asthma symptoms (an asthma attack), your doctor may prescribe a brief course of oral steroids such as prednisone. Sometimes systemic steroids like prednisone are taken in high doses for a few days. This is called a steroid burst. They may also be given in a low dose daily or every other day for long-term asthma control.

Generic name: Theophylline

Theophylline functions mainly as a muscle relaxant to open up narrowed airways, and it may have mild anti-inflammatory qualities as well, although it’s not known exactly how it works. For persistent asthma, theophylline is not considered the preferred first treatment because it has not been shown to be as effective as inhaled corticosteroids. However, in some cases it may be prescribed as an additional medication if sufficient control is not achieved with steroids alone. Although theophylline comes in both short-acting and slow-release formulations, it is most frequently administered in its slow-release form once or twice a day.

Generic name: Zafirlukast

Zafirlukast is an oral leukotriene receptor antagonist used for treating asthma. Leukotrienes are a group of chemicals manufactured in the body from arachidonic acid. Release of leukotrienes within the body, for example, by allergic reactions, promotes inflammation in many diseases such as asthma, a disease in which inflammation occurs in the lungs. Zafirlukast blocks the binding of leukotriene types D4 (LTD4), and E4 (LTE4) and the promotion of inflammation. It also is effective in preventing exercise-induced asthma and in relieving the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Zafirlukast reduces the risk of an asthma exacerbation, suggesting that the contribution of leukotrienes to asthma symptoms and exacerbations is not adequately controlled by high-dose inhaled corticosteroids.

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