Basically, there are two types of medications:
- Controller Asthma Medicines These are also called preventative asthma medicines and are taken every single day to help prevent asthma symptoms and asthma attacks.
- Quick Relief Asthma Medicines This type of asthma treatment can help your child when he has asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, or trouble breathing. Quick relief asthma medicines are also called rescue medicines.
Controller Asthma MedicinesThese types of asthma treatment can help prevent your child from having any symptoms of asthma. Examples of controller or preventative asthma medicines include:
- Inhaled corticosteroids such as Aerobid, Asmanex, Azmacort, Flovent HFA, Pulmicort (available as a Turbuhaler an Respules for use with nebulizers for younger kids), and Qvar
- Advair, a combination corticosteroid and long-acting beta2 agonist
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists, such as Singulair, Accolate, and Zyflo
- Long-acting beta2 agonists, such as Serevent Diskus and Foradil
- Other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory controller asthma medications include Intal and Tilade.
- Xolair injections for children with allergic asthma.
Quick Relief Asthma MedicinesThese types of asthma treatment actually provide relief when your child has asthma symptoms. They are usually given with a nebulizer or a metered dose inhaler. Younger children can often use an inhaler with a spacer or a spacer and mask. Examples of quick relief asthma medicines include:
- Albuterol - Accuneb, Albuterol, Proventil, Ventolin (inhalation solution, nebules, HFA inhaler, inhaler, syrup, rotacaps)
- Levaluterol - Xopenex Soln, Xopenex HFA
- Pirbuterol - Maxair Autohaler (a breath-actuated metered dose inhaler)
Asthma TreatmentAn asthma action plan can make it easier to understand which medication is best for your child in different situations. If you aren't sure which asthma treatment is best for your child, review your asthma action plan. If you don't have an asthma action plan, either ask your doctor for one or consider seeing a Pediatric Pulmonologist for further management and asthma education.