Managing asthma in adults

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airway with a spectrum of presentations - from intermittent but mild symptoms to persistent symptoms with chronicity. The key to successful management of the disease process is not only to treat the acute symptoms of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and cough but also to suppress the underlying inflammatory component. Management requires an integrated approach that incorporates patient education, control of environmental triggers, the judicious use of an appropriate agent to suppress underlying inflammation, addition of adjunctive therapy to optimize primary control, and the supplemental use of a bronchodilator to control breakthrough symptoms. Inhaled corticosteroids are the most effective agents for primary control of patients with persistent asthma. The nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agents cromolyn and nedocromil are alternative choices for primary control. Adjunctive or secondary controllers include maintenance bronchodilators such as salmeterol and long-acting theophylline as well as leukotriene modifiers. Concurrent therapy with an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta agonist has been shown to provide better asthma control than therapy with either an inhaled corticosteroid plus a leukotriene modifier, an inhaled corticosteroid plus theophylline, or higher doses of an inhaled corticosteroid alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S940-S963
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Volume6
Issue number17 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Nov 9 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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