Medications used to treat asthma include steroids, bronchodilators and asthma nebulizers, states WebMD. Some medications for long-term control of asthma include inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting beta agonists, leukotriene modifiers and combination inhalers, such as fluticasone and salmeterol or budesonide and formoterol, reports Healthline.
Steroids are anti-inflammatory drugs, and they minimize swelling and production of mucus in the airways, says WebMD. They are the primary treatment for patients with asthma, and they reduce the reaction in the airways to asthma triggers. Bronchodilators relax the muscles around the airways, which opens up the airways. Doctors typically recommend asthma nebulizers in older people, small children and in patients with difficulty using inhalers. This machine changes medications from a liquid to a mist, allowing the lungs to inhale them more easily.
Patients take long-term control medications every day, even if they show no symptoms, states Mayo Clinic. Inhaled corticosteroids reduce tightening in the airways and may cause rare side effects, such oral yeast infections and mouth irritation. Leukotriene modifiers inhibit the effects of chemicals in the immune system that cause asthma.
The right medications for asthma depend on the symptoms, asthma triggers and the age of the patients, notes Mayo Clinic. Patients should recognize their triggers and avoid them, and they should track their breathing to check if their medications are relieving the symptoms.