asthma medication

OTC Asthma Medication: What You Need to Know

Asthma is a very common respiratory illness that is experienced by people of all ages. It is accompanied by several symptoms including coughing, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, tightness in the chest and sometimes, anxiety. People suffering from asthma have highly sensitive and hyper-responsive airways. The bronchial airways constrict when it becomes irritated during an attack. This, in turn, causes an obstruction and resistance to the flow of air to and from the lungs.

Mild and intermittent asthma attacks can be counteracted and prevented from progressing to a severe condition with the help of over-the-counter or OTC medication like EpiMist for asthma. These OTC medications for asthma relief work in two ways. One is by fending an onset of triggers to stop asthma symptoms from developing further, and the other is by providing immediate comfort by clearing the airways. There are actually two categories of OTC medication for asthma relief.


The first category of OTC treatment for the immediate relief of asthma symptoms includes diphenhydramine, loratadine and chlorpheniramine, which are available in both tablet and liquid forms. Most symptoms are due to allergic reactions and histamines. Antihistamines can prevent an attack by blocking out histamines and keeping them from affecting the system. These types of medication for asthma are similar to those prescribed for the illness. Claritin was originally available only with a prescription, but soon it was made available for OTC medication.

Patients should also be careful when choosing OTC antihistamine medication for asthma relief. There are some meds that are combined with other ingredients, which may have adverse effects on some asthma patients. So, always make sure to read the labels to know more about the possible side effects of medicines, such as drowsiness and grogginess.

Inhaled Medications


Another category of OTC medication for asthma is inhaled medication. This usually contains epinephrine or hydrocortisone, which are steroids and stimulants. Epinephrine is a bronchodilator that provides quick relief for asthma attacks. This hormone is a quick-acting one derived from the human adrenaline hormones. It is a stimulant, and an overdose can cause elevation of the blood pressure, increased pulse rate and palpitations.

Inhaled medication is the most effective medication for asthma relief. It reduces swelling of the airways, and that is why it is a preferred long-term treatment for mild and moderately persistent asthma. Inhalers are relatively safe when used according to instructions or as prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Inhaled medication goes straight into the lungs where it is needed. There are different kinds of inhalers with various ingredients. It is important to know how these inhalers are used and how to clean and store them properly.

OTC medication is beneficial for people suffering from asthma symptoms. They also prevent asthma attacks from becoming worse. People living with asthma sufferers must also be oriented on how to deal with emergency situations and how to help the patient during an attack. Some patients need prescription maintenance inhalers or oral medication to manage asthma symptoms better and minimize future attacks.

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