As a pharmacist, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of proper treatment in managing asthma. In this article, I will provide a comprehensive overview of the various types of prescription medications used to treat asthma.

Inhaled corticosteroids are one of the most commonly prescribed asthma medications. They work to reduce inflammation in the airways, but they don’t work in seconds, so they are not considered a “rescue” inhaler. Two popular examples of these drugs are Flonase and Qvar.

Next, a common category of medications are bronchodilators, which help to relax the muscles in the airways, improving airflow and reducing asthmatic symptoms.

There are short-acting and long-acting beta-agonists, and there’s a big difference between those two.

The short-acting drugs often contain albuterol, and these are rescue inhalers because they can improve breathing very quickly! An example of a long-acting beta-agonist is Serevent®, and your doctor can prescribe these medications for you.

Leukotriene modifiers are available now too. These drugs block the effects of inflammatory substances in the airways (leukotrienes) to reduce inflammation and improve breathing.

I would say the most popular medication in this category is montelukast (Singulair). It’s usually not used by itself because it works better in combination with other asthma medications.

Most people with asthma take the medications above. For a few resistant cases, doctors will add in a drug from the class of “biologics,” and these are newer. Reserved for more serious cases, we have medications like Xolair, Nucala, and Fasenra.

If you’re dealing with asthma, and you’ve read something here that can help you, please research it and call your physician. I want to emphasize the importance of working closely with a healthcare provider because, with asthma, you need a personalized treatment plan for yourself.

Keep in mind these medications just manage symptoms and give you quality of life, but they are not curative. To effectively treat (and possibly cure) a condition like this, you would need to consider lifestyle changes (e.g., stop smoking/drinking), manage your weight, and most importantly, avoid the triggers.

Some triggers are virtually impossible to avoid, while others are highly modifiable. The most common triggers for asthma include pet dander, dust, household chemicals, pollution, smoking, food coloring, bacteria and viruses, and weather changes.

Your genes and prior medical history play a role in how well you can manage your symptoms, but I have to say, no matter how long you’ve had asthma, there is always hope for a partial or even full recovery! I truly believe that.

With proper treatment, trigger avoidance, and medication management, individuals with asthma can effectively manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

I have a much longer version of this article on my website in case it interests you or a loved one. I am also offering a free e-book on the immune system. To receive this, visit my website,

Please be sure not to make any changes to your medication protocol without consulting your physician first.

This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat your disease. For more information about the author, visit

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