Hyojung Lee, L.Ac.
Prophylactic Asthmatic Drugs and Traditional Chinese Formulas (EDIT)
Prophylactic Asthmatic Drugs and Traditional Chinese Formulas
In recent years there has been a notable increase in the diagnoses of allergies, asthma, and other diseases that affect the ability of people to breathe freely. The reasons for this are still the subjects of scientific debate and continued research. However, more effective drugs have been developed to treat the wheezing, shortness of breath, and other symptoms of allergies, asthma, and inflammation of the lungs. One of the most commonly-prescribed drugs for asthma is Cromolyn, otherwise known by its more popular brand name of Intal.
Cromolyn is usually inhaled through an atomizer as an aerosolized solution or is breathed in as a microfine powder. It inhibits the release of histamine, leukotrienes and other chemicals in the body that mediate inflammation. These chemicals are secreted from mast, macrophages, and other types of cells that have a critical role in causing an allergic reaction to take place. Cromolyn...
But like all drugs, it should not be prescribed without careful consideration of its side effects. These side effects include: coughing; hoarseness; a dry mouth or throat; throat irritation; and nasal congestion or sneezing. Ironically, Cromolyn can cause side effects similar to the condition it is attempting to treat! This is why it must be used with caution, although it can make the life of someone suffering from allergies much easier, if it is used properly and the person does not develop an adverse reaction.
Corticosteroids are another class of prophylactic asthma medications used in asthma treatment. They are used to decrease airway obstruction or constriction. Corticosteroids stabilize the membranes of lysosomes, preventing the release of hydrolytic enzymes that cause the inflammation characteristic of an asthmatic attack. Inhaled glucocorticoids are the most commonly prescribed corticosteroids. These drugs also inhibit leukotrien synthesis and reduce bronchoconstriction and secretion of mucus, or, in layperson's terms, coughing and phlegm.
One problem with administration of corticosteroids by mouth is that a fair percentage of the drug is deposited in the pharynx or the mouth, or is swallowed. This means that precautions must be taken to ensure that the drug is administered effectively. This can be prevented with the use of a spacer, attached to a metered-dose inhaler. Washing the mouth afterwards can also reduce unwanted side effects from deposits…
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