Different doctors and naturopaths have told me different ways to deal with my asthma. What is the best treatment for asthma?
The best treatment is that which completely prevents the disease. It is far better to prevent asthma than to deal with acute attacks. If the asthma only occurs every month or two, intermittent treatment may be appropriate. Most patients are being under-medicated, rather than taking too much. This applies particularly to patients who obtain their medication over the counter from chemists rather than seeing a doctor. This habit could prove expensive to your health!
Prevention involves two classes of drugs:
— Intal or Tilade
— Steroids (eg. Becotide, Becloforte, Flixotide, Pulmicort, Aldecin etc.).
Both groups are designed to be used regularly on a long term basis to prevent asthma attacks.
If an attack does occur, treatment is usually by one of a number of sprays (eg. Ventolin, Respolin, Bricanyl, Serevent). These can also be given by a nebuliser (when they are even more effective) or in a tablet or mixture (when they are less effective than a spray).
Combination inhalers are now available (eg. Seretidc) that have both preventive and treatment medication in the one dose.
Tablets or mixtures of a group of drugs called theophyllines can also be given to treat an attack of asthma. These include medications such as Ausryn and Theo-Dur.
If these medications do not work adequately, there are a number of add-on sprays and tablets that can be used including Atrovent and Prednisone.
I must emphasise how important it is to be under the continued care of a doctor when using any of these medications. Asthma can be well controlled with the cooperation of the patient.