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What type of asthma do you have?#

Asthma can broadly be divided into extrinsic (allergic), intrinsic, drug-induced, exercise-induced, and infectious types. Each type is triggered by different stimuli, but all will result in an inflammatory response and bronchial constriction.

Demonstration of reversible airway obstruction is a clinical criterion for asthma.

How severe are your asthma attacks?#

Asthma is classified according to severity and control based on impairment, frequency and exacerbation of acute attacks, lung function and type of medication to alleviate signs and symptoms.

What may precipitate an asthma attack?#

  • Extrinsic asthma is triggered by allergens, such as dust, mold, house mites, animal dander, and saliva.
  • Intrinsic asthma may be triggered by stress.
  • Drug-induced asthma can be triggered by aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, nuts, berries, and sodium metabisulfate, which is used as a food preservative.
  • Exercise-induced asthma may be triggered by exertion and cold air.
  • Infectious asthma can be triggered by bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.

What type of treatment are you receiving?#

The treatment goal for asthma therapy is to control symptoms with the least amount and number of medications. While control of inflammation is a long-term aim, bronchodilation will achieve immediate relief.

Long-term management of asthma is tailored to the severity of the disease in a step-wise fashion.

Some of the medications use to treat asthma, such as inhalers with glucocorticosteroid, may induce the development of oral candidiasis Camera icon..

Which medication do you use to alleviate an asthma attack?#

Mild to moderate asthma attacks can be treated with nebulized bronchodilators.

Acute exacerbations may require injection with 1:1,000 solution of epinephrine.

If relief cannot be achieved after a second dose of epinephrine, the patient needs emergent medical attention.

What types of medications are you taking?#

The types of medications will indicate severity, suggest if acute exacerbations have occurred, and indicate the need for glucocorticosteroid replacement therapy.

Long-term control medications to achieve and maintain control of persistent asthma#

Corticosteroids - anti-inflammatory medication.
Cromolyn sodium and nedocromil - used to stabilize mast cells.
Immunomodulators - Omalizumab, a monoclonal antibody used to prevent binding of IgE to basophils and mast cells.
Leukotrine modifiers - Montelukast and zafirlukast,used to reduce inflammatory response.
Long-acting β2 agonists (LABA) - Salmeterol and formoterol, used to achieve bronchodilation.
Methylxanthines - Theophylline, used to achieve bronchodilation.

Quick-relief medications#

Anticholinergics - used to inhibit muscarinic cholinergic receptors and reduce intrinsic vagal tone of the airway.
Short-acting β2 agonists (SABA) - Albuterol, levabuterol, and pirbuterol, used to achieve bronchodilation.
Systemic corticosteroids - used to speed recovery and prevent recurrence of exacerbations.

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