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How does my medicine help me?

 

Your medicine plays a very important role in keeping your asthma under control. To get the most out of your medication, use a spacer.  Using a spacer gets 50% more medication into your lungs.

 


Because your medicine is so important, you need to make sure that you :

  • understand what your different medicines do 

  • always know where your medication is kept

  • always follow the directions for taking the medication. Take your medication as prescribed by your doctor

  • always use a spacer when taking your medication (see how here)

  • make sure that you never run out.  

Most kids with asthma have two main types of medication - a Preventer and a Reliever.  Some people get confused with the role that each of these medicines has in helping keep our asthma under control.  An easy way to remember it is Preventers Prevent and Relievers Relieve.

As well as Preventers and Relievers, there are other different types of medication - read how they can all help :

 
Preventer medication

Preventer medication does just that - it prevents your asthma.

Preventer medication is probably your most important asthma medication, because it keeps the airways open by stopping your airways from getting swollen and inflamed which stops the asthma getting worse. 


Preventer medicines work slowly and can take three months of regular use (generally twice a day) before you feel the full benefit of the medicine. It can be dangerous to skip a few doses or stop your preventer when you feel well, as your asthma will often get worse.  

Preventer inhalers are usually brown, orange or dark red.  It is generally taken morning and night with a spacer.  Find out more...

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Reliever medication

Reliever medication helps you to feel better straight away.   It brings short term relief as it helps the muscles around your airways relax and then you can breathe more freely.


Relievers are only taken when you need them. Many people rely on their reliever inhaler to feel better immediately, but they do not treat the underlying cause of their asthma -swollen and inflamed airways. Relievers don't have a lasting effect like preventers - their effect wears off in a few hours and they don't change the swelling in the breathing tube.  Reliever inhalers are usually blue.  Find out more...

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Combination inhalers
 

Combination inhalers have both preventer and symptom controller medicine. Don’t use these for an asthma attack. Find out more...

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Prednisone

Prednisone is used when you have serious asthma. But it doesn’t work fast - It works slowly on the inflamed airways over several hours so that your airways become more open.  

Find out more...