FROM OUR EXPERTS
One of the frequent questions I've seen here and on other asthma websites is whether asthma can be safely treated with (cheaper) over the counter medicines. So, I thought I'd use this post to explore the answers to that question.
Before I get started, though, let's refresh your memory about a couple of asthma facts:
Asthma is very treatable. While asthma is a chronic, long-term illness that often can't be avoided in the first place, the good news is that it is fairly easily treatable in most cases. With the right treatment, people who have asthma should be able to live full, active lives without many -- or any -- limits.
The best treatment for the majority of people with asthma is a daily or twice daily inhaled steroid. Of course, no one medicine works best for everyone, but research has shown that inhaled steroids are generally the most effective asthma medicine. If they are used correctly, as prescribed, they should control your symptoms most of the time.
Millions of Americans in pursuit of a remedy for stuffy nose and sinus pressure turn to over the counter (OTC) nasal sprays because of their quick action, availability and presumed safety. But did you know prolonged use of topical nasal decongestants (TNDs) often leads to addiction? Case in Point: A 32-year-old male was referred to me because of complaints of chronic nasal blockage. The patient suspected his problem was hay fever (allergic rhinitis). During the interview, he revealed that a year ago he began to have trouble sleeping because of a stuffy nose. He felt considerably better after using a TND before going to bed. Within 2 weeks he began to awaken in the middle of the night requiring another dose of his nasal spray for relief. One month later he required doses 4 times daily in order to avoid severe nasal congestion. By the time I saw him, he was going through almost a bottle of nasal spray daily. His diagnosis was Rhinitis Medicamentosa (RM) which means nasal inflammation (rhi...
Medications to have at home
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Simasek M, Blandino DA. Treatment of the common cold. Am Fam Physician . Feb 2007;75(4):515-520.
Semrad CE, Powell DW. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 143.
Boes CJ, Capobianco DJ, Cutrer FM, et al. Headache and other craniofacial pain. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice . 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008:chap 73.
Atopic dermatitis. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology . 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 5.
You should know
Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Content posted by community members does not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media, which also reserves the right to remove material deemed inappropriate.