Treatment for Asthma
Anti-inflammatory drugs, particularly inhaled steroids, are an essential treatment for most children with asthma. These anti-inflammatory medications reduce or prevent asthma attacks and work by decreasing swelling and mucus production in the airways. As a result, the airways are less sensitive and less likely to react to asthma triggers and cause asthma symptoms. These inhaled steroid medications are also known as “maintenance medications” for children with asthma and are taken everyday as a preventative.
Bronchodilators are fast-acting medications that are used during an asthma attack to relax the muscles that can tighten around the airways. This medication, known as “rescue inhalers,” is not intended for daily use. Bronchodilators are short-acting, and quickly relieve coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
Long-acting bronchodilators are sometimes prescribed in combination with inhaled steroids for control of asthma symptoms or when someone has ongoing asthma symptoms despite treatment with a daily inhaled steroid. Long-acting bronchodilators are never used alone as long-term therapy for asthma.