More information on Asthma
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects more than 25 million people in the United States. For some people with mild asthma, symptoms may only be bothersome at times. For others with more serious asthma, it can be life-threatening. That’s why it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to find which treatment works best for you.
An asthma “attack” or episode can occur anytime you encounter a trigger, which is why you should always be prepared with treatment. Common triggers that may lead to an attack vary person to person and may include tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, mold, furry pets, certain disinfectants, pollen, weather changes, physical exercise, certain infections, acid reflux, and even strong emotions. Although there is no cure for asthma, there are many different treatment options available. Your Walgreens pharmacist can help you navigate your asthma care plan for long-term management, in person or online in Pharmacy Chat.
Are there over-the-counter inhalers?
Yes, currently there is a type of inhaler that is available over-the-counter. This type of inhaler contains epinephrine, and it may provide temporary relief for symptoms of mild, intermittent asthma. However, you should consult with your healthcare provider before using an over-the-counter inhaler. People with certain health conditions or those taking certain medications may be advised not to use this type of treatment. Asthma management is best achieved by developing a plan with your healthcare provider. Other oral bronchodilator products are also available at Walgreens in stores and online. They contain ingredients such as ephedrine sulfate. These products are also intended to help with intermittent mild asthma symptoms. They should not be used by people with certain health conditions.
Types of asthma medicine and treatments
Asthma medicine is often categorized as either quick-relief or long-term management. Asthma medicines are available in a variety of forms including inhalers, oral tablets or capsules, and injections. While most asthma medicines require a prescription, there are a few options available over-the-counter. Asthma treatment usually involves a step-wise approach, which is commonly based upon the severity of your condition, your age, and other health conditions. It’s important to ask your healthcare provider before taking an over-the-counter medication. In addition to inhalers, there are also antihistamines that may help prevent allergies that lead to asthma attacks.
What does an asthma inhaler do?
People who have asthma experience inflammation and narrowing of their airways, which causes symptoms including shortness of breath, coughing, tightness in the chest, and wheezing. Asthma inhalers may help provide relief by working in a variety of ways. Some inhalers may help smooth bronchial muscles that are tight while other medicines may also help slow or stop inflammation. Inhalers can be used to treat urgent episodes or manage asthma long-term, depending on the type of medicine. Your Walgreens pharmacist can help explain how to use and store an inhaler appropriately.