Your doctor will work with you to develop an asthma self-management plan for controlling your asthma on a daily basis, and an emergency action plan for stopping asthma attacks. These plans will tell you what medicines you should take and other things you should do to keep your asthma under control.
- Quick relief medicines - taken at the first signs of asthma symptoms for immediate relief of these symptoms. You will feel the effects of these medicines within minutes. Also known as "rescue" medicines. Usually an inhaled bronchodilator is used. You should carry your quick relief inhaler with you at all times in case of an attack.
- Long-term control medicines - taken every day, usually over long periods of time, to prevent symptoms and asthma episodes or attacks. You will feel the full effects of these medicines after taking them for a few weeks. People with persistent asthma need long-term control medicines. An inhaled corticosteroid is usually used because it reduces the airway swelling that makes asthma attacks more likely.
Many people with asthma need both a short acting bronchodilator to use when symptoms worsen and long-term daily asthma control medicines to treat the ongoing inflammation. Be sure to work with your doctor to find the best treatment for your asthma. The goal is to use the least amount of medicine necessary to control your asthma. It is very important to take your medicines as prescribed and to be consistent in taking them on a regular basis.
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