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Management and Treatment

How Is Asthma Treated?

You can control your asthma and avoid an attack by taking your medicine exactly as your doctor or other medical professional tells you to do and by avoiding things that can cause an attack.


Doctor treating boy with asthma

Not everyone with asthma takes the same medicine. Some medicines can be inhaled, or breathed in, and some can be taken as a pill. Asthma medicines come in two types—quick relief and long-term control. Quick-relief medicines control the symptoms of an asthma attack. If you need to use your quick-relief medicines more and more, you should visit your doctor or other medical professional to see if you need a different medicine. Long-term control medicines help you have fewer and milder attacks, but they don’t help you if you’re having an asthma attack.

Asthma medicines can have side effects, but most side effects are mild and soon go away. Ask your doctor or other medical professional about the side effects of your medicines.

The important thing to remember is that you can control your asthma. With your doctor’s or other medical professional’s help, make your own asthma action plan (management plan) so that you know what to do based on your own symptoms. Decide who should have a copy of your plan and where he or she should keep it.

You can learn more about asthma action plans from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/lung/asthma/asthma_actplan.htm. Take your long-term control medicine even when you don’t have symptoms.


The above text is from the "You Can Control Your Asthma" [PDF - 4074 KB] full-color brochure and is suitable for downloading and printing.

Other Resources

American Lung Association

This site provides information about asthma management and treatment options to help you take control of your asthma. It includes facts about asthma, asthma attacks, asthma medicines, peak flow meters, and home control of allergies and asthma.

National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute

This site provides an easy-to-read guide, So You Have Asthma, to help you learn about the latest information on asthma management and also provides facts about asthma.

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