Asthma Information


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What is Asthma?


1) Airway tube spasm/closing (bronchospasm) that is variable and reversible:

                                                                           Airway tube open             Airway tube spasm

2) Inflammation (swelling/congestion) of those airway tubes:

Normal                                    Inflamed


1) Reliever medication (bronchodilator)(blue):
   - Names: Ventolin, salbutamol, Airomir, Bricanyl
   - Reverses airway tube spasm, opens airway
   - Immediate relief
   - Does NOT treat underlying inflammation
   - Use when needed (cough, breathless, wheeze), or before exercise
   - Rescue medication

2) Long acting bronchodilator:
   - Brand names: Oxeze (may be used as reliever), Servent (not to be used as reliever)
   - Used regularly in addition to inhaled steroid
   - Oxeze may be used when needed alone before exercise

  - Caution: If you need Oxeze frequently as a reliever, you should be on a preventer medication regularly

3) Controller medication:  Inhaled steroid
   - Brand names: Pulmicort (brown), Flovent (orange), QVAR (red), Alvesco (red), Asmanex (pink), Arnuity (orange/white)
   - Decreases airway inflammation
   - Needs time to gradually decrease inflammation therefore...
       ... needs to be taken REGULARLY (every day) to work effectively
   - Prevents further symptoms from occurring

4) Combined inhaled steroid + Long acting bronchodilator:
   - Brand names: Symbicort (red), Advair (purple), Zenhale (blue), Breo (blue/white)

5) Antileukotrienes (pill):
   - Brand names: Singulair, Accolate
   - Useful in:
  • Patients with asthma and hay-fever/nasal allergy symptoms
  • viral-induced asthma (children)
  • aspirin-induced asthma, exercise induced asthma
6) Biologic medication (prescribed by specialist):
- Omalizumab - Anti-IgE - injections for moderate to severe allergic asthma (and Chronic Hives)
- Mepolizumab - Injection for severe eosinophilic asthma

Asthma Education - Please click on the following links for more information

Asthma Action Plan

Inhaler (puffer) Identification

Xolair information

Xolair web page

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