Asthma Medicines and Their Side Effects


In most medical treatment, drugs or medicines are normally given to the patients to treat the condition. Although effective, there is always the possibility of side effects including some adverse ones. The use of asthma medicines, especially at time of severe asthma attacks, has become a necessity instead of a choice. When we or someone someone we love is gasping for breath, we will not hesitate to take the medicines as long as they can bring about immediate reliefs from the discomforts. Ironically in those situations, we are prepared to overlook all the side effects associated with the consumption of the medicines.

One of the most common treatments for asthmatic attacks is the use of corticosteroids which is normally used through inhalers and not swallowed like pills. This form of treatment has the advantage of going straight to the lungs. Some side effects of corticosteroid administrated in this gaseous state include hoarseness of the throat and / or a thrush or yeast infection that is evidenced by a whitish layer on the tongue. Here, it is recommended that the users rinse their mouth and spit out the water after using their inhaler.

Corticosteroid pills are essentially the same treatment but are accidentally swallowed by the patients. This course of treatment is normally given for only a short period of time in order to get some unusual swelling in the throat under control or to deal with a chest infection. They are more powerful in this form than in the gaseous or vapor state. Some examples of this corticosteroid is Prednisone and Dexamethasone.

When used over a short period of time – for example less than a week – the patient may experience water retention, an increased appetite and some changes in mood. Over a long period that spans a few months the side effects can include increased appetite with weight gain, thinning of the bones, and some gastrointestinal irritations. Some of these prescriptions can also create a form of dependency or addiction as patients depend on them for uninterrupted relief.

Leukotriene receptor antagonists are asthma drugs that specifically target the inflammatory aspect of asthma. Although side effects of this type of treatment are said to be rare, some individuals have noted that they experience headaches, dizziness, upset stomachs, heartburns and overall tiredness.

Theophylline is an asthmatic medication that is not commonly prescribed for asthma unless it appears that the shortness of breath is disturbing the sleep of the asthmatic patient, or the asthma is of a very distinct type. It works specifically on the muscles in the air passageways to keep them relaxed. Some of the side effects are said to be nausea, diarrhea, headaches, nervousness, heartburns, rapid heart beat and loss of appetite.

Bronchodilators that are used as rescue medicines during an asthma attack are known to produce some common reactions such as an increased heart rate, flushing, trembling and over all nervousness.

Source by Lester Lee