Perhaps one of the most pressing concerns for any asthmatic, but particularly the parent of an asthmatic is, “What am I doing to my child (or myself) with all these drugs?” A legitimate concern for everyone dealing with asthma is the risk versus benefit of the medications. Fortunately, asthma medications are very safe.
Steroids: These medications are considered the back bone of asthma controller medications. Most commonly used as an inhaler, they also come in a liquid form for children to use in a nebulizer. These medications work very well in controlling the inflammation in the lungs that lead to the narrowing and inflammation of the airways. The word steroid seems to bring fear into most parents mind. However, these are not the dangerous steroids that are abused by athletes and others. In addition, when inhaled only very small doses are needed as they are directed right into the lung.
When taken in a tablet or liquid by mouth, steroids work very well but have the potential to affect the entire body. With long-term use of ORAL steroids there is significant risk for a lot of severe side effects. That is why “Targeted Topical Therapy” with an inhaler or nebulizer is recommended for daily use. Oral use should be only for short periods of time and should be limited to no more than once or twice a year. If needed more frequently then inhaled steroids should be started or increased to control your asthma.
Beta agents: while commonly thought of as the “asthma inhalers” these medications are used mostly for rescue during times of an asthma attack. These medications have no affect on inflammation but do open the lungs when there is airway narrowing. The side-effects of these medications may include increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and tremors.
Allergy & Asthma Associates of Southern California provides relief from allergies, asthma, sinus problems, chronic cough and other related conditions. Dr. William E. Berger, Dr. Warner W. Carr, Dr. Mark S. Sugar, Dr. Simi Kapoor, and Dr. Christina Schwindt together with their staff specialize in allergy and immunology in Southern California.
If you or your child are suffering from asthma or think you may have asthma please Call (949) 364-2900 to schedule your appointment today. You can also use our online Request an Appointment form to schedule a future appointment.