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Medication and Treatment

There are two main categories of asthma drug treatment: Relievers and controllers.

Based on the level of asthma control, doctors will adjust the combination of drugs and dosage to aim at total control.

  1. Relievers – short-acting bronchodilators (drugs to relax constricted airways)
  2. Controllers –
    • Inhaled steroid
    • Combination medication consisting of inhaled steroid and inhaled long acting bronchodilator
    • Leukotriene modifier
    • Sustained release theophylline
    • Others (oral steroid, Anti- IgE treatment)

Most asthma drugs are given through inhalational forms. In this way, they can be directly delivered to the small airways to take effect to dilate the constricted airways and target at the exact site of underlying inflammation. A smaller dosage of drug will thus be required compared with oral medication and the side effects will be lowered. However, for severe cases, both oral and inhaled medication may be required.