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Understanding Asthma Medications (cont.)

Medical Treatment

The main goals in the medical treatment of asthma are to prevent asthma attacks and to control the disease. Avoiding triggers that induce or aggravate asthma attacks is an important aspect of prevention. Medications used to prevent asthma attacks (controller medications) focus on decreasing the airway inflammation that causes attacks. Rescue medications help open up your airway and are used for quick relief when asthma symptoms occur despite the use of controller medications.

Most of the inhaler therapies have been changed recently because of the government mandate to remove chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) from the devices in an attempt to prevent further damage to the earth's ozone layer. These inhalers have changed to a new propellant, hydrofluroalkane (HFA) or powder devices. This change in delivery system has resulted inadvertently in removing all generic inhalers from the market and only proprietary (brand name) options are available for now.

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