Other Long-Term Control Medications


Lt Col Reynolds
Long-term control medicines are anti-inflammatory, meaning that they help control airway inflammation. Dr. Flemings, can you tell us about this kind of medicine?

Dr. Flemings
Of course, Dr. Reynolds. Long-term control medications are generally taken every day to reduce the occurrence of asthma attacks. The full effects of these medicines are felt after taking them for several weeks. People with persistent asthma need to take long-term control medicines, usually for an extended period of time.

In some cases, oral steroids are used for short periods of time to bring asthma under control. The tablet or liquid form may also be used to control severe asthma.

In addition to inhaled corticosteroids, which are the preferred medicine for controlling persistent asthma, other long-term control medicines include:

  • Inhaled long-acting beta-agonists
  • Leukotriene modifiers
  • Mast cell stabilizers
  • Methylxanthines
  • Immunotherapy or allergy shots
  • Anti-IgE therapy, and
  • Anti-IL-5 therapy

Many people with asthma need both a short-acting bronchodilator to use when symptoms get worse, and long-term daily asthma control medicines to treat the ongoing inflammation. If you stop taking long-term control medicines, your asthma will probably get worse, so be sure to consult with your provider before making medication changes.

Over time, your provider may need to make changes in your asthma medicine. You may need to change your dose or try a combination of medicines. Be sure to work with your provider to find the best treatment for your asthma. The goal is to use the least amount of medicine necessary to control your asthma symptoms.

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