Asthma is a condition in which airways get inflamed, tight, and swollen, making it difficult to breathe. The most common symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and wheezing. The severity of symptoms differs in different people and could be a result of certain situations like exercise or weather conditions. While asthma is not curable, it is controllable with the use of advance treatment options. Some severe asthma treatments involve:
1. Medication to control and prevent symptoms
2. Medication to offer quick relief and stop an attack
3. Avoidance of triggers that could cause an attack.
Severe asthma treatment specifically requires higher doses of medication or a personalized asthma action plan designed by your doctor based on your severity and symptoms.
Common Severe Asthma Treatments
For severe asthma, long-term control medication are recommended, including inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting anticholinergics, oral corticosteroids, and more. To offer quick relief in the event of an attack, inhaled short-acting beta-agonists and anticholinergics are recommended, or even a combination of both.
Biologics drugs block the activity of the bacteria that make the airways swell up. They are used to prevent asthma attacks or make them milder. They include omalizumab used to treat allergy triggered asthma and mepolizumab, rezlizumab and benrazumab to treat eosinophilic asthma.
This is an inhalant approved by the FDA in 2005 to treat asthma after tests concluded that when used with high doses of inhaled corticosteroids ad beta-agonists, it improved asthma control.
They work by blocking the action of leukotriene, the chemical that tightens and narrows the airways during an attack. Montelukast, zafrlukast and zileuon are the leukotriene modifiers used to treat an attack and are taken orally.
This is a surgical technique used as a last resort. Radiofrequency energy is applied to the airways to destroy some of the smooth muscle lining the airway through heat generation. It is delivered in 3 sessions, three weeks apart and helps in reducing symptoms by preventing the narrowing of the airways.
Future of Severe Asthma Treatments
Research is still ongoing but fevipiprant (QAW039) has generated a lot of excitement as studies have shown it improves lung functions. Though it is still an experimental drug, it has shown much promise. If approved, it would be the first oral severe asthma drug to be introduced in2 decades. The future of asthma drugs is promising but the only solution would be to identify the known triggers and find a cure for them.
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