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Many students with asthma require two different medications: one for daily control and prevention, the other to treat and relieve symptoms. These medications are usually taken by metered-dose inhaler.

Preventive asthma medications are taken daily and usually can be scheduled for before and after school hours. However, some students may need to take preventive daily medication during school hours.

All students with asthma need to have their medication that relieves symptoms available at school in case of unexpected exposure to asthma triggers, or an asthma episode.

In addition, students with asthma often benefit from using their inhaled medication 5 - 10 minutes before exercise. If accessing the medication is difficult, inconvenient, or embarrassing, the student may be discouraged and fail to use the inhaler as needed.

The student's asthma may become unnecessarily worse and their activities needlessly limited.

Actions for school staff to consider

  • Provide students with convenient access to their asthma medications for all on- and off-site activities before, during, and after school. These medications prevent as well as treat symptoms and enable the student to participate safely and vigorously in physical activities.
  • Enable students to carry and administer their own medications if the parent/guardian, health care provider, and school nurse so advise.

Created by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Review Date: 6/29/2012

Reviewed By: Allen J. Blaivas, DO, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine UMDNJ-NJMS, Attending Physician in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Veteran Affairs, VA New Jersey Health Care System, East Orange, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Previoulsy reviewed by David A. Kaufman, MD, Section Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Bridgeport Hospital-Yale New Haven Health System, and Assistant Clinical Professor, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. (6/1/2010)

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