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Asthma is a common chronic disorder prevalent among adults and children alike. But asthma attacks and flare-ups can be kept at bay through proper treatment. Apposite asthma medication given to children helps to improve their breathing conditions, and reduce the flare-ups and other problems associated with asthma.
Asthma in children varies from one child to another and may affect children of different age groups differently. Pediatrician may refer the patient to an asthma specialist if the symptoms become more pronounced and severe. Doctors draw conclusion about the medication based upon the response to the current prescribed treatment. Accordingly, the dozes may be stepped up or reduced; or a new combination of drugs maybe suggested.
Asthma medication can be taken in any one of the following ways depending upon the situation:
- Through inhalers using a metered dose
- Through nebulizers in the form of mist
- In the form pills or liquid medicine
- Via injections
Types of Medication
There are two types of asthma medications that are prescribed:
- Long term Medications or The Controller Medications
- Quick Relief or Rescue Medications
Long term Medications or the Controller Medications
These medications are prescribed to prevent asthma flare-ups and assist in controlling the disease in the long term. These medications reduce the inflammation of the airways and make asthma less susceptible to triggers. Afflicted children are supposed to take these medicines daily to keep asthma under control over the prolonged duration. Types of these controller medications are:
Corticosteroids: These drugs are taken through inhalation and these are most effective in younger children. These inhaled anti inflammatory medicines consist of the following:
Leukotriene modifiers: These are taken to block the chemicals that cause inflammation. These are taken additionally with corticosteroids if required. An example of this medication is montelukast. If the child displays signs of side effects then this medication should be immediately stopped.
Theophylline: This bronchodilator drug is not commonly prescribed these days but it is meant to open the airways and makes it easy to breathe by relaxing the muscles surrounding the airways. This drug is used to avert nighttime symptoms.
Long-acting beta-agonists: These drugs are also bronchodilators which are used to open up airways. These are only supposed to given to children in combination with corticosteroids in inhalers.
Quick Relief Asthma Drugs
These drugs are given to provide an instant relief from the typical symptoms like chest tightness, wheezing and coughs. These medicines include:
Short-acting bronchodilator: The most common ones of these drugs are albuterol, pirbuterol and levalbuterol.
Systemic corticosteroids: These anti-inflammatory drugs control the symptoms rapidly.
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