Question: What is the standard treatment strategy for asthma?
Answer: The standard treatment of asthma is to provide enough medication to control symptoms and to prevent exacerbations. For most individuals, that will mean a low dose inhaled glucocorticoid medication. For others that may mean a slightly higher dose of inhaled glucocorticoid medication or the addition of additional non- glucocorticoid treatments.
For example, there are two popular medications out now which are a combination of an inhaled steroid for the anti-inflammatory effect and a long-acting bronchodilator, a so-called long acting beta-adrenergic agonist. These drugs are sold in combination and used regularly; provide very good control of asthma for most individuals. In addition, leukotriene receptor antagonists and additional medications such as anticholinergic inhalers may be used.
But the mainstay of treatment is inhaled glucocorticoids, long-acting bronchodilators as the next choice with the possibility of an anti-leukotriene drug, in some people an anticholinergic agent and in all patients a short-acting rescue bronchodilator available for acute treatment. In some patients who are intolerant of short-acting beta-adrenergic agonist treatment, a short-acting anticholinergic may be used as a control medication.
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