Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can I take a pill every day to help my asthma or do I need to carry an inhaler?"
Hello. I'm a 30 year old guy with asthma and feel like such a little kid anytime I take a pull from my inhaler. Is there a pill I can take in the morning to control my illness?
Asthma is typically treated in a step-wise medication with a variety of inhaled medications, at least initially. For minimal and infrequent symptoms, generally only an albuterol inhaler is used on an as-needed basis. When symptoms become more frequent, then an inhaled steroid is prescribed in addition to albuterol, often for twice daily use (in the morning and at night). The next step is generally a long-acting bronchodilator, essentially a long-acting form of albuterol, used on a daily basis. At this stage of symptoms, some doctors will also prescribe oral medications known as leukotriene receptor antagonists, which help to alleviate symptoms of constriction and inflammation by a different pathway from the inhaled medications. You should talk to your primary care physician or pulmonologist about the frequency and severity of the symptoms that you are experiencing. If indicated, then you should be taking daily medication (either inhalers or oral medication), which should hopefully cut down on the frequency with which you need to use your rescue inhalers during the day.
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