Asthma Medications

To help prevent an asthma attack, learn to identify your triggers and how you can avoid them.

  • Exercise
    • Only with good control of your asthma will you be able to play or exercise as much as you want.
    • Use albuterol within 30 minutes of exercise.
  • Colds, Flu, Cold Air or Change in weather
    • Wash your hands often
    • Get a flu shot every fall
  • Mice and rats, Roaches or Water bugs
    • Keep food in airtight containers
    • Notify landlord or call an exterminator if you have rodents
    • Use traps
  • Furry and feathered Pets
    • Keep pets out of the bedroom
  • Weeds, Grasses, Trees, Pollen or Mold
    • During pollen season, keep the windows closed and use air conditioners
    • Shower before bed if you have been outdoors
    • Repair water damaged areas in your home
  • Smoke, Air pollution, Dust and dust mites, Strong smells, Perfumes and body sprays or Cleaning products
    • Stay away from all kinds of smoke, including second-hand smoke
    • Cover pillows and mattresses with allergy covers
    • Wash linens in hot water
    • Keep stuffed animals off the bed
    • Stay away from strong smells
    • Avoid exposure to cleaning fumes, perfumes and hairspray

Asthma Management

There are two kinds of asthma medications: controller medicines and quick-relief medicines.

Controller (everyday) medications

  • These work slowly.
  • They prevent asthma symptoms.
  • You may not feel it working.
  • These medicines work best if taken every day.

Examples of controller medications include:

  • Asmanex ®
  • Azmacort ®
  • Flovent ®
  • Pulmicort ®
  • QVar ®
  • Aerospan®
  • Singulair ®

Quick-relief (as-needed) medications

  • These work fast.
  • They relax breathing tubes and make it easier to breathe.
  • You should use them as needed when you have cough, wheeze, or difficulty breathing
  • They are only a "quick fix" for asthma
  • You should not need them every day

Call your primary care doctor if you need your quick-relief medications more than twice in a week or if you need to use it more than twice in one hour.

You should see your primary care provider at least every three months.

Examples of Quick-Relief medicines include:

  • Albuterol ®
  • Proair ®
  • MaxAir ®
  • Proventil ®
  • Ventolin ®
  • Xopenex ®

How to use an Inhaler and aero chamber

To use the MDI and Aero chamber (with or without a mask):

  1. Remove the caps from the MDI and Aero chamber.
  2. Shake the canister well.
  3. Insert the MDI into the back end of the Aero chamber.
  4. If there is a mask, place it over your child's nose and mouth, making sure there is a good seal. If there is just a mouthpiece, the tip should go between the teeth and lips wrapped tightly around to make a good seal.
  5. Press down firmly on the canister to release one puff of the medication into the Aero chamber.
  6. Hold the mask firmly in place while your child takes at least 5-6 breaths. If your child is using an Aero chamber with mouthpiece, after inhaling the medication, he should hold his breath for 5-10 seconds then breathe out slowly.
  7. Wait one minute.
  8. Repeat steps two through seven for each puff of medication ordered.
  9. When treatment is complete, remove the MDI from the Aero chamber.

If using this device with an MDI that contains a steroid rinse your child's mouth with water.If you are unable to hold your breath, use a mask with spacer and take six breaths (in and out) through mouth for each puff.