Question: What are asthma controllers and when are they used?
Answer: Controller medicines are used in asthma whenever individuals with asthma have symptoms more than once or twice a week or symptoms that are not well-controlled with the occasional use of a rescue inhaler.
Controller medicines include inhaled corticosteroids, inhaled chromones and oral leukotriene receptor antagonists. Probably the most potent and the most frequently used are the oral anti-inflammatory steroids. There are at least five different available options and these medications are used to treat the underlying inflammation that occurs in asthma.
They are recommended in general for all patients who are using their rescue inhaler more than twice a week. Although recent studies suggest that at least some patients with very mild asthma may be able to live with rescue inhalers and an acute treatment plan for those times when their rescue inhalers are not effective.