Therapy and Management | Treatment | Overview

Treatment options in asthma

Therapy of asthma primarily relies on pharmacological treatment. Additionally non-pharmacological intervention may be helpful in acquiring special behaviour and psychological coping patterns.

Medications can be administered via inhalation, by oral or parenteral application. The major advantage of inhalation treatment is that high drug concentrations can be delivered directly into the airways while side effects are avoided or minimized.

Medication regimens depend on the severity of disease with a step-wise treatment approach. For intermittent asthma no continuous medication is necessary but rapid-acting inhaled β2-agonists may be taken as needed to relieve acute symptoms. Inhaled glucocorticosteroids in increasing doses are the fundamental therapy of persistent asthma (mild, moderate and severe). Additional medication like long-acting β2-agonists, theophylline or leukotrienes modifier as well as systemic glucocorticosteroids are important treatment options in more severe asthma.


O'Byrne P. GINA Executive Commitee. Global strategy for asthma management and prevention. 2004. National Institutes of Health. Publication No 02-3659

Voshaar T. Therapie mit Aerosolen. 2005. Uni-Med: Bremen

Asthma Classification and Treatment Recommendation–
GINA guidelines (2008)

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