Comparing Top 5 Asthma Medications

Healthcare specialists in the field of anti-asthmatic pills that work for the website of Canadian Pharmacy regularly discuss with our users via anonymous consultations  the peculiarities of the most popular and widely prescribed anti-asthmatic medications, including inhalers and oral pills. Because of a high demand, Canada Pharmacy decided to post the separate article highlighting all aspects of the most recognized medical preparations in asthma categories in all pharmacies.

The Brief Introduction Into Different Types Of Asthmatic Medications From Canadian Pharmacy Experts

Before reviewing the most popular medications for treating asthma, there are a few facts have to be clarified:
  1. There are two main compounds of any asthmatic disorder: inflammation of airways and acute bronchoconstriction (narrowing of bronchi). The multiple studies in the late 1990s and early naughts have shown that the reduction and prevention of further inflammation is a priority condition for prevention of asthma attacks and minimizing the risks of hospitalization and death;
  2. Anti-asthmatic agents for the long-term control should be applied daily for a long time to achieve and maintain control over the so-called persistent asthma (when the symptoms appear more than twice a week and frequent asthma attacks affect the lifestyle of a patient drastically);
  3. The most effective asthma pills for long-term control are the drugs that immediately stop inflammation in airways (the so-called anti-inflammatory drugs), but there are other meds, often used in the conjunction with anti-inflammatory action to strengthen the common therapeutic effects;
  4. As long-term drugs for controlling asthma there are distinguished such groups of medications:
    • Corticosteroids are drugs of the first choice for treatment of persistent asthma, any drug in this group is taken in a form of inhalation. This group includes such medications as Budesonide (Pulmicort), fluticasone (Flovent);
    • Beta-agonists long-acting bronchodilators that should only be used in conjunction with suitable anti-inflammatory drugs. This groups features such popular names as Symbicort, Foradil (Formoterol);
    • Combined long-acting medications for controlling asthma (inhalers with the combination of corticosteroids + beta-agonists allowing to achieve asthma control with safe doses of steroids). This group includes such drugs as Advair, Dulera;
    • Leukotriene modifiers have less pronounced anti-inflammatory effects than steroids. The most popular drugs in this group are Singulair, Zyflo;
    • Theophylline is a standalone anti-asthmatic drug that referred to the new-gen of bronchodilators used in combination with anti-inflammatory drugs with a limited application;
    • Mast cell stabilizers are weak anti-inflammatory drugs that are commonly used in combination with other drugs – Tilade and Intal are good examples;
    • Synthetic antibodies against immunoglobulin E (injectable medications prescribed to patients with severe allergic asthma that is not well controlled with inhaled steroids). This category has such names as Xolair, Novartis;
  5. There are also medications for a quick relief of asthmatic symptoms. All drugs in this group are used for the immediate relief of symptoms during  asthmatic episodes (cough, feeling of fullness in chest and wheezing - signs of bronchoconstriction). They include:
    • Short-acting beta-agonists – these bronchodilators relieve asthmatic attacks and prevent symptoms caused by exercises. This group includes such drugs as Albuterol (ProAir), Ipratropium (Combivent);
    • Anticholinergics are bronchodilator taken when needed and usually assigned in combination with a quick acting beta-agonist. To this group are referred such medications as Combivent and DuoNeb;
    • Systemic corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory agents for the relief of asthmatic exacerbations. They allow you quickly coping with the attack at the time of selected treatments and to accelerate the recovery from severe asthmatic episodes. This group features Triamcinolone (Kenalog), Prednisolone (Prelone);
  6. All asthmatic drugs can be used in various ways: they can be inhaled through a metered dose inhaler, a dry powder inhaler or nebulizer and can be also administered orally in the form of pills or liquids. Several drugs from the above list are used in the form of subcutaneous injections;
  7. Some asthmatic drugs can be used together. For example, some inhalers contain a combination of two different drugs. Due to the same inhalation from a device a patient’s body receives both medications simultaneously, reducing in the way a total number of inhalers needed to treat asthmatic disorders.

Reviewing top 5 most popular anti-asthmatic medications at the Canadian and U.S. markets

Despite the enumerated groups of medications mentioned above, the experts from Canadian Pharmacy distinguish inhalers, nebulizers and oral pills of the first and new generations as the most effective and useful daily-use meds for people who have chronic asthmatic disorders. We short-listed these top 5 anti-asthmatic medications. All of them have positive feedback from our users and great ratings from our experts:

1. Salbutamol

Salbutamol is a bronchodilator in an inhaler with an immediate effect - from 1 to 3 minutes - begins expansion of the bronchi. 10 minutes after the activation there occurs dilation and after 20 minutes there comes the maximum observed pharmacological effects. Such effect is maintained for 5 hours, depending on an individual. The benefits and unique features of Salbutamol include:

  • suppression of early, middle and late phase allergic reactions during asthma;
  • pronounced effect for the removal of bronchospasms;
  • relief for the shortness of breath;
  • the quick reduction of spasm in a respiratory tract;
  • preservation of vital lung’s capacity;
  • positive effect on the mucosal protective feature;
  • stimulation of mucus production;
  • revitalization of ciliated epithelium;
  • prevention of bronchial spasm after a contact with an allergen.

Salbutamol has a number of metabolic capacities. After its regular use, potassium levels in the body are lowered. Against the background of insulin’s suppression, the secretion may occur with the testimony to hyperglycemia. The usual therapeutic dose of Salbutamol does not affect the work of cardiovascular system and stimulates the development of hypertensive crisis.

2. Budesonide

This is one of the most common medications in the world for treating complex diseases of a respiratory system in people of all ages – to be precise, bronchial asthma, the successful treatment of which is one of the most important problems of modern medications. The individual therapeutic regimen with Budesonide for treatment of asthma depends on the disorder’s severity, the clinical-pathogenic nature, the presence of various co-morbidities.This bronchodilator has an effective relaxing effect on bronchial smooth muscles, thereby by improving airways’ patency. Budesonide reduces the clinical manifestations of asthma, while significantly increases the functionality of bronchi and reduces the likelihood of disorder’s exacerbations. Budesonide is produced in powder form for inhalation that is practically insoluble in heptanes and water. The topical anti-inflammatory effect of Budesonide is much more effective than that of steroid cortisol.

3. Symbicort

It is a combined preparation for treatment of bronchial asthma. It comprises Formoterol and Budesonide that have different mechanisms of action and exhibit an additive effect in reducing the incidence of acute exacerbations of asthma.The special properties of Budesonide and Formoterol allow to use them at the same time as maintenance asthma therapy. Symbicort reduces the severity of edema of the bronchial mucosa, mucus production, formation, sputum and airway hyper-responsiveness. The drug is well tolerated by kids and adults with the highest efficacy profile in its pharmacological group.

4. Formoterol

This medication is applied for maintenance treatment of asthma and prevention of bronchospasms with the reversible obstructive airway disease, including patients with symptoms of nocturnal asthma who require regular inhalation of short beta-2agonists.The drug can be applied for bronchial asthma, together with short-beta 2 agonists, corticosteroids, theophylline, it is strongly recommends for adults and children over 12 years. For treatment of obstructive airways disease along with Formoterol corticosteroids, such as Beclomethasone and Budesonide, are often prescribed.

5. Theophylline

This is a new generation of bronchodilators used to control the symptoms of asthma, but it is not sold in the form of an inhaler. Theophylline is sold under well-known brand names as Theo-24, Slo-Bid or Theo-Dur and usually it is administered orally (pill or liquid) or intravenously (through a vein). Theophylline is a long-acting anti-asthmatic medication, preventing acute attacks. Theophylline is used to treat hard-controlled types of asthma and should be taken daily.

In lieu of summary we should say that at the website of Canada Pharmacy you can find a comparison of all enumerated in this article medications for treating asthma in kids and adults. You can also order your monthly refills of prescribed anti-asthmatic medications by means of online daily deals at our Pharmacy service. Our users can save a lot of money on quite expensive inhalers and take care of their health with generic versions of the most efficient anti-asthmatic medications. Stay healthy with expert help from Canadian Pharmacy!

All Medications at Canadian Pharmacy for Asthma treatment you can find in this section