Your doctor may prescribe several types of medication to treat your asthma. Two of these are anti-inflammatories, and bronchodilators. Both anti-inflammatories and bronchodilators work to open up your airways, but they do so in different ways.
Anti-inflammatory medications decrease airway sensitivity caused by inflammation and reduce mucus production. Bronchodilators relax the constricted muscles around your airways. This action opens them up, making it easier to breathe and easier for the mucus to be expelled.
Both anti-inflammatories and bronchodilators can be prescribed as either controller medication - medicine that you take every day to prevent long-term sensitivity - or quick-relief medication, medicine for the relief of sudden asthma attacks.
In some cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe a combination medication that has the properties of both anti-inflammatories and bronchodilators. Combination medications can make your asthma management easier because you to only use one medication, instead of two.
One dose of a combination medicine does the job of both an anti-inflammatory and a bronchodilator. It decreases inflammation, reduces constriction and helps to loosen mucus. Loose mucus is easier to cough out of your system.
Like all medicines, asthma medications only work when you take them as prescribed. So review your prescriptions with your doctor or pharmacist and make sure you follow them correctly.
"I'm on a maintenance program right now - which is two clicks is what they call it - of PulmicortÂ®, which in three years I've only had one situation. I feel very good about that. But I have to take the PulmicortÂ® daily."
If your medications are not working as expected, or you feel you may be experiencing medication side effects, tell your doctor right away. Your medication plan may need to be changed.
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