Asthma Medication Treatment

Pharmacological Management

Pharmacological management of asthma includes long term management, and management of exacerbations of asthma (in home, in emergency room, and in hospital). In order to understand the management of asthma, physicians need to be familiar with the drugs that are used.

    1. Cromolyn and Nedocromil by metered dose inhaler or by nebulizer
    2. Leukotiene modifiers (tablets)
      1. Leukotriene receptor antagonists - LTRA
        1. Montelukast
        2. Zafirlukast
      2. 5-Lipoxygenase inhibitor
        1. Zileuton

    3. Methylxanthines
      1. Theophylline (liquid, time-release tablets, or capsules)

    4. Immunomodulators (subcutaneous injection)
      1. Omalizumab

    5. Corticosteroids (inhaler - ICS, oral, or systemic)
      1. Beclomethasone (inhaler)
      2. Budesonide (inhaler)
      3. Flunisolide (inhaler)
      4. Fluticasone (inhaler)
      5. Mometasone (inhaler)
      6. Triamcinolone (inhaler)
      7. Predisone (oral)
      8. Prednisolone (oral)
      9. Methylprednisolone (systemic)

    6. Anticholinergics (inhaler)
      1. Ipratropium

    7. Long-acting beta (bronchodilator) agonists – LABA (inhaler)
      1. Salmeterol
      2. Formoterol

    8. Short-acting beta (bronchodilator) agonists – SABA (quick relief medications) (inhaler)
      1. Albuterol
      2. Pirbuterol
      3. Levalbuterol


    This presentation is modeled in part after the following:

    National Asthma Education and Prevention Program
    Expert panel Report 3:
    Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma
    Full Report 2007

    U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
    National Institutes of Health
    National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

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