Many people have asthma - a condition in which the person gets sudden attacks of breathlessness, wheezing and a feeling of tightness in the chest. It can be quite a frightening experience which may lead to feelings of panic making the condition worse, but, thanks to the wide range of anti-asthma medicines available today, it is no longer considered to be a crippling disease.
If you understand what asthma is, its causes and how to use the medicines properly, you and your asthmatic child can live a healthy and normal life. Any identified case of asthma such as grass or certain foods should be avoided if possible. To obtain the benefit from your medicine, it is essential to follow particular principles.
Using the right medicine is important as some medicines are used to prevent asthma while other medicines are used to treat asthma attacks. If medicines meant to prevent asthma are used when one has an acute attack, they may make the condition worse.
Ask your pharmacist what each one is for.Not all asthmas respond to the same treatment, so only ever use medicine that has been prescribed to you. Even products that have the same ingredients might not be the same, so do not swop without asking your pharmacist.
The medication comes in different forms such as tablets, syrups, suppositories, and inhalers. An inhaler is an effective way of administering an asthmatic medicine as smaller doses can be used, and the medicine reaches the site of action quickly. Long-acting preparations are helpful in controlling night attacks.
Taking the right dose is imperative as some of the ingredients used in asthma medicines can be lethal if taken in large doses. On the other hand, some medicines are such that when used in small doses, the efficacy of the medicine may decrease, effectively making it useless.
Timing is also important. It must be taken at the right time. Use the medicines at times you have been advised to by your pharmacist and doctor. Some should not be taken towards evening, as they may cause excitability and restlessness.
If you are using a bronchodilator and a steroid inhaler; use the bronchodilator first and wait five minutes before using the steroid one. This allows the steroid to reach a target area in the lungs. The medicines must regularly be taken for them to be effective. In some cases no effect will manifest in the first few weeks - do not stop using them without consulting your pharmacist.
Finally, ask your pharmacist how to take an oral medication that is prescribed. An inhaler must be used correctly for it to be effective, so ask your pharmacist for a demonstration of how the equipment works. To avoid hoarseness and fungal infection in the mouth and throat, it is important to rinse your mouth after each use.
Certain medicines should be avoided by asthmatics, as they may bring on an attack. Some of these are available without a prescription. It is important to never take any medicine without first discussing it with your pharmacist.
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