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Asthma Medications (cont.)

How Frequently Will I Have to Take Asthma Medicines?

Asthma can't be cured. How often you need to take your asthma medicine depends on how severe your asthma is and how frequently you have symptoms. For example, if your asthma symptoms occur only during the time of the year when your allergies act up, then you may only have to take medications to control your symptoms during that time. However, this is somewhat unusual, and most people with asthma need to take medications every day.

Asthma Medication Guidelines

Asthma medications are the foundation of good asthma control. Learn all you can about your medications. Know what medications are included in your asthma action plan, when these medications should be taken, their expected results, and what to do when they fail. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Never run out of asthma medications. Call your pharmacy or doctor's office at least 48 hours before running out of your asthma medications. Know your pharmacy phone number, prescription numbers, and medication names and doses so that you can easily call for refills.


  • Refer to your asthma action plan when deciding how or when to use asthma drugs. This plan is designed so you achieve the best possible asthma control. Make sure you understand and can follow the plan.


  • Wash your hands prior to preparing or taking asthma medications.


  • Take your time. Double-check the name and dosage of all your asthma medications before using them.


  • Keep your asthma medications stored according to the instructions given with the prescription.


  • Check liquid medications often. If they have changed color or formed crystals, throw them away and get new ones.


  • Inform your doctor about any other medications you are taking. Some medications can affect the actions of your asthma medications when taken together. Most asthma medications are very safe. However, side effects can occur and vary depending on the medication and dose. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to describe medication side effects. Report any unusual or severe side effects to your doctor immediately.


  • Most asthma medications are very safe. However, side effects can occur and vary depending on the medication and dose. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to describe medication side effects. Report any unusual or severe side effects to your doctor immediately.

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Department of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine.

SOURCES: American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: "AAAI Allergy & Asthma Medication Guide." Medline Plus: "Asthma." American Academy of Family Physicians: Family Doctor: "Asthma: Learning to Control Your Symptoms."

Reviewed by Jonathan L. Gelfand, MD, on August 10, 2008

Portions of this page © Cleveland Clinic 2008


Last Editorial Review: 2/4/2009

© 2005-2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Source article on WebMD


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Source: MedicineNet.com
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