Community Pediatric Asthma Service

Swollen Airways

Controller/Preventer Medicine

Controller/preventer medicine must be used regularly to help heal and prevent swelling in the airways. These medicines are often taken even when you have no symptoms, and help keep your asthma under control. Inhaled corticosteroids are the most commonly used controller/preventer medicines to keep asthma under good control.

Why should my child take asthma medicine?


Corticosteroids have been used for many years to treat asthma and are very safe. These are not the same type of steroids that some athletes use to build muscle and they are not addictive.

When regular use of preventer medicine does not control your asthma, your doctor may add a second type of preventer/controller medicine to enhance the effect of the first.

 

There are a number of different types of controller/preventer medicines:

Device                                          Drug Name
Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)        Flovent, Qvar, Alvesco
Turbuhaler                                    Pulmicort
Diskus                                          Flovent
Twisthaler                                     Asmanex
RespiClick                                    Aermony


Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists (LTRAs) block the release of Leukotrienes, which cause swelling in the airways of the lungs. These chewable pills can be taken in addition to an inhaled corticosteroid. Some people with very mild asthma may be able to take only the pill to control their asthma symptoms, however, Canadian Asthma Guidelines suggest that almost all patients should be started on inhaled corticosteroids first. 

Device                          Drug Name
Tablet       Singulair, Montelukast: 4, 5 and 10 mg tablets

 

 

 

Combination Medicines are convenient if your child needs to take both an inhaled corticosteroid and a LABA medicine, because they can take both medicines, in a single device.

 

                   Device                                   Drug Name
Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)                Advair, Zenhale
Turbuhaler                                            Symbicort
Diskus                                                   Advair

Long Acting Beta Agonists (LABAs) relax the muscles surrounding the airways in the lungs for about 12 hours and may be used when the regular use of an inhaled corticosteroid alone does not control your asthma. Your doctor may add a LABA to enhance the effectiveness of the corticosteroid. LABAs always should always be used in addition to an inhaled corticosteroid medicine and should be taken regularly, like inhaled corticosteroids. 

LABAs do not replace reliever medicine in an emergency.

               Device                               Drug Name
Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)          Not available
Turbuhaler                                      Oxeze
Diskus                                             Serevent

 

 


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Material on this website has been designed for information purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment. If you have specific questions, please consult your doctor or appropriate health care professional.