Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How do asthma inhalers work?"
Seems kind of strange that they are so immediate, its good, just don't kno wif it's really unnatural?
Asthma inhalers can contain different types of medications, all of which have an effect on the small airways in the lungs. The typical "rescue inhaler" that asthmatics are often prescribed for quick and short-term relief of symptoms like shortness of breath and wheezing contains a medication called albuterol. Albuterol binds to beta-adrenergic receptors on the surface of smooth muscle cells lining the small airways in the lungs; when this binding process occurs, the muscles relax and the airways become less constricted. Another frequently used class of medications in the treatment of asthma is inhaled corticosteroids, such as fluticasone. These medications work on the cells lining the same small airways to decrease local inflammation through a variety of mechanisms. As airway constriction and inflammation are the two main mechanisms in which asthma causes symptoms, these medications are the cornerstone of treatment. They have very limited systemic effects because they are inhaled and get effectively delivered to the place where they are needed. They have excellent safety profiles and provide asthmatic patients with significant relief when used correctly.
Need more info?See a primary care-doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.