Any time you self treat symptoms, there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself. While Primatene mist has been taken off the market, there have been a number of questions around a relatively new OTC product called Asthmanefrin.
You should still consider these 4 questions before using an OTC asthma medication:
- Am I Sure This Is Asthma? When you have asthma you will likely experience classic asthma symptoms such as:
However, all of these symptoms can also be caused by other diseases, like COPD or heart disease, and some may improve with OTC treatment.
- Am I At Risk For A Fatal Asthma Attack? Asthma can be a really serious, even deadly disease. If you need to use an OTC asthma medication to improve your breathing, you probably need to see a doctor about your symptoms. If you need a rescue inhaler more than twice per week, you probably need an inhaled steroid. Inhaled steroids are not available as an OTC asthma medication.
- Is OTC Asthma Medication Safe? Concerns regarding the safety of selling OTC asthma medications have been raised by the medical community. Currently OTC medications are not sold for hypertension, heart disease or cholesterol problems. You could then reasonably ask why sell OTC asthma medication? As a result, researchers have studied whether or not this practice is safe.
- What Are the Side Effects of OTC Asthma Medication? You can experience asthma medication side effects with an OTC asthma medication just like prescription medication. Make sure you know the side effects of an OTC asthma medication and call your doctor if you experience them.
Many patients say cost is one of the main reasons for using OTC asthma medication. Prescription inhalers have gotten much more expensive as a result of a regulation that is requiring manufacturers to switch the propellant (what sprays the drug) in their products from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to hydroflouroalkane (HFA). Several of the resources below may help you obtain less expensive prescription medication.
OTC Asthma Medication- Help For You
- Online Drugstores - Are They Safe?
- 10 Tips For Using An Online Pharmacy
- Counterfeit Drugs: Am I At Risk if I Buy Drugs Online?
- Financial Help for Asthma Medications
Do you ever worry about having a severe asthma attack or other healthcare emergency and not being able to communicate that you have asthma or other medical condition to a Good Samaritan or a healthcare professional?
ScanMed-QR provides a solution to that problem that allows your smart phone to provide someone who needs it a wealth of information about you, your emergency contacts, and any health information that you want to provide.
Bar code technology can provide you a personal health record that may just be the answer to your worry. The technology is easily accessible from a smart phone and is already used by EMS and hospital personnel. You can also have a band made so that you will never be without your emergency health information.
If you can see a picture or a movie, you may be more likely to watch and remember some important health information. About.com has a wonderful collection of videos to help you understand more about your asthma and your lungs. Check them out and let me know what you think. Hopefully they will increase your knowledge and make it easier to get control of your asthma.
- What Is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis can complicate your asthma. Learn what bronchitis is and what you can do about it.
- Can Thunderstorms Cause An Asthma Attack
Do you ever notice that your asthma is worse after a thunderstorm? Learn why this happens in this interesting video.
- How to Use a Rescue Inhaler
Are you using your asthma inhaler correctly? Find out here.
If you have asthma and GERD, which makes the other worse? Does your GERD cause asthma symptoms or does asthma cause you to experience GERD?
Almost 70% of asthma patients have GERD compared to 20% of patients without asthma. The relationship between GERD and asthma is not exactly clear and can make it difficult for your health care provider to decide what exactly to do. Educate yourself about the relationship between GERD and asthma.
GERD & Asthma
- What Can I Do When Asthma & GERD Occur Together?
- Is Your Uncontrolled Asthma From GERD
- Can GERD Cause Asthma?
- Treating Asthma & GERD When They Occur Together
I have been surprised by neti-pot use and even more surprised that so many of my patients and you use them for sinus allergies and symptoms. It was not until I started asking patients specifically that I became are of how commonly they were being used. A study presented in the last several years at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology found that neti-pot use may actually increase your risk of infection- not wha you really want when you are trying to use this to make you feel better.
Stopping neti-pot use was associated with a 62% decrease in sinus infections. The authors pointed out that neti-pots do provide relief of bothersome sinus symptoms, but that chronic use may wash away some of your bodies natural defenses and increase your risk of infection.
Neti pots have been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and many people all over the internet are singing their praises. I get asked about them fairly commonly in clinic. Basically a neti pot is a form of nasal irrigation that is supposed to greatly improve sinus allergy symptoms. You take a small tea pot looking device filled with salt water and insert it into one of your nostrils. The salt water goes through your sinuses and out the other nostril. You can see a video of someone demonstrating the neti pot.
What do you think? Have you used a neti pot? What was it like? Do you have any suggestions for other members of our community Leave a comment or join the discussion in the forum.
More On Allergy and Asthma
- Will I Benefit From Immunotherapy?
- Do Asthma Specialists Improve Quality Care in Asthma?
- Why Is IgE Important and How Does IgE Affect My Asthma?
For all the the asthma prescriptions dispensed each year, many medications are actually not taken or taken irregularly. However, there are many things you can do to remember to take your asthma medication as prescribed. The options depend on what you think will work best for you. The options range from simply putting your medication next to your tooth brush to text messages to your smart phone.
What do you do to remember to take your medication? Why not go to the forum and let our community know what you do.
In case you did not remember, the teenage years can be really difficult. Having a disease like asthma does not make life for your teenager any easier.
In a recent article 8 Tips For Parents Of Teens With Asthma , we examine changes that you will need to make to help your teen get better control of their asthma. The article will give you some practical actions you can take to help your teen transition to self care out of your watchful eye.
More Useful Info
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Exercise is an important lifestyle choice, even for patients with asthma. Symptoms with activity can be a sign of poorly controlled asthma.
Alternatively, exercise could be a trigger for your asthma. It is not always easy to figure out whether your asthma symptoms are exercise induced or not.
Poorly controlled asthma or exercise can cause you to experience:
You should strive to be as active as possible and learn as much as you can about asthma.
- What Are Exercise Induced Asthma Symptoms?
- Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention of Exercise Induced Asthma
- How Is Exercise Induced Asthma Diagnosed?
- What Are the Options for Exercise Induced Asthma Treatment?
Lots of different groups are trying to get their message out about asthma. Check out these asthma PSAs and then let our community know about which one you like best.
Yoga has been advocated to improve your health in general and may help improve your asthma. In general yoga may help you:
- Improve flexibility
- Increase strength
- Tone your muscles
- Decrease chronic pain
- Relieve stress
Pranayama, a type of yoga breathing exercise, may also help you gain control of your asthma. Learn more about these yoga exercises that might improve your breathing.
- Introduction to Pranayama Breathing Exercises
- Equal Breathing - Sama Vritti Pranayama
- Alternate Nostril Breathing - Nadi Sodhana
- Dirga Pranayama- Great For Beginners
Share your thoughts with our community.