Current recommendations for the treatment of mild asthma
Neal Shahidi, J Mark FitzGerald
Division of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Abstract: Patients suffering from mild asthma are divided into intermittent or persistent classes based on frequency of symptoms and reliever medication usage. Although these terms are used as descriptors, it is important to recognize the approach of focusing on asthma control in managing asthma patients. Beta-agonists are considered first-line therapy for intermittent asthmatics. If frequent use of beta-agonists occurs more than twice a week, controller therapy should be considered. For persistent asthma, low-dose inhaled corticosteroids are recommended in addition to reliever medication. Compliance to regular therapy can pose problems for disease management, and while intermittent controller therapy regimens have been shown to be effective, it is imperative to stress the value of regular therapy especially if an exacerbation occurs. It is also important when such an approach is adopted that there is regular re-evaluations of asthma control. This is because regular anti-inflammatory therapy may become necessary if symptoms become more persistent. Other therapies are seldom needed. Antileukotrienes can be considered an option for mild asthma; however, studies have shown that they are not as effective as inhaled corticosteroids. Aside from therapy, patient education, which includes a written action plan, should be a component of the patient's strategy for disease management.
Keywords: mild asthma, treatment, inhaled corticosteroids, asthma education
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