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Asthma Treatment: Medicine

There are 3 Medicine treatments for Asthma.

The past few years have seen an increasing variety of asthma medications that your health care provider may prescribe for the treatment of asthma. These include Controller Asthma Medicines, Quick Relief Asthma medicines and Steroids.

Controller Asthma Medicines are also called “preventative asthma medicines,” and are taken every day to help prevent asthma symptoms and asthma attacks.

Quick Relief Asthma Medicines reduce asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing. Quick relief asthma medicines are also called “rescue medicines.”

Steroids pills are sometimes taken by people with chronic lung diseases, including asthma. Steroid pills (such as prednisone or methylprednisolone) are strong medicines that decrease swollen airways.!

Treatments include:


Effect of Controller Medicines on Asthma

This type of asthma treatment can help in prevention of the symptoms of asthma.

Examples of controller or preventative asthma medicines include:

  • Inhaled cortico-steroids such as...

Read more about Asthma and Controller Medicines.

Effect of Quick Relief Asthma Medicines on Asthma

Quick Relief Asthma Medicines reduces asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing. Quick relief asthma medicines are also called “rescue medicines.”

Read more about Asthma and Quick Relief Asthma Medicines.

Effect of Steroids on Asthma

Oral steroids are also often used as an asthma treatment when an asthma attack occurs. Forms of oral steroids include prednisone and prednisolone (Prelone and Orapred). In general, prednisone is...

Read more about Asthma and Steroids.

Asthma Action Plan

An asthma action plan can make it easier to understand which medication is best in different situations. An asthma action plan is based on a set of treatment guidelines given by the NIH (National Institutes of Health), and is completed by your doctor, so that you know what medications to take when your asthma is symptomatic or asymptomatic, when to notify your physician or emergency care center, and what classification of asthma you have. Three separate "zones", i.e., the Green Zone (asthma under control), the Yellow Zone (asthma control slipping), and Red Zone (danger, take action now!) include a description of signs and symptoms tied to each zone with specific treatments and actions tied to each zone.

When you have been diagnosed with asthma and you aren’t sure which treatment is best, review your asthma action plan. If you don't have asthma action plan, ask your health care provider for one that also includes asthma education.


David M. Lang, Serpil C. Erzurum, Mani Kavuru. 2000-2010. The Cleveland Clinic (Online) accessed 01-31-2010

Vincent Iannelli, M.D. 2008. Asthma Treatment. (Online) accessed 01-31-10

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