Tips for Correct Use of Medicine

•    The patient should take the bronchodilator medicine at the earliest signs of asthma episode – such as cough, chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath. An asthma episode is easier to control if medicine is taken as soon as the symptoms start.
•    Cromolyn should be taken before the patient comes in contact with a known trigger (for example, before visiting the house of a friend or relative who has a dog).
•    If side effects occur, the medicines should not be stopped suddenly as this may cause worsening of the asthma. The side effect causing medicine should be substituted with other medicine.
•    The treatment is not adequate if patient has symptoms at any time of the day. This means there is a need to change the dose or the type of the medicine.

Supportive treatment for asthma

•    Hydration. Asthmatics in exacerbation tend to lose a lot of fluid through the respiratory tract, hence adequate hydration should be ensured.
•    Mucolytics. As mucus hypersecretion is a factor in airway inflammation, the use of mucolytics helps in removal of thick and sticky secretions associated with bronchospasm. Steam inhalation, if taken properly is the best mucolytic.

•    Chest physiotherapy and breathing exercises. Chest physiotherapy and breathing exercises are started once the bronchospasm is reduced. They help in removal of secretions and improvement in breathing capacity.

•    Antibiotics Antibiotics should be administered concomitantiy with bronchodilators in associated infections of the upper or lower respiratory tract.
•    Role of immunotherapy in the management of asthma. Immunotherapy by allergen injections has been tried in the past. Recent recommendations do not advise allergen injection immunotherapy for asthma as the efficacy of such treatment is doubtful. Moreover there is possibility of serious side effects.

•    Role of vitamins and antioxidants. Consuming foods rich in natural antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, and selenium strengthens the lungs. Individuals with allergies and asthma who consume 500 mg of vitamin C daily experience fewer symptoms. A daily dose of B-complex vitamins (from 50 to 100 mg) and magnesium (400 to 600 mg) may help to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma episodes.

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