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Readers of this site have asked several important questions about the use of quick-relief (‘rescue') medications -- both OTC and prescription. In this and my next entry, I would like to address the following issues: This entry: Are OTC drugs an effective way of treating asthma? Next entry: When is the right time (and how often) to use prescription quick-relief inhalers? For people with mild asthma that only affects them intermittently, an OTC quick-relief medication may be reasonable. This applies to individuals who need no regular daily medication for their asthma and have symptoms less than twice a week during the day or twice a month at night. There are two main formulations of OTC quick-relief medications -- inhaler and tablet. Both are drugs that are bronchodilators (relax the smooth muscles around the breathing tubes to let air go in and out more easily). The main medicine in the inhalers (which include Primatene Mist, Asthmahaler) i...
I received an email last week from a woman who was worried that her mother was being over-medicated. She had a point. We discussed the fact that the mother should get all of her prescriptions in the same place. This is smart for anyone, as when all of your medications are in one computer system at one pharmacy, the system should catch any interactions.
What the systems don't catch, however, are all the over-the-counter medications we take. As our emails flew back and forth, I was able to gather from the concerned daughter that her mother was good about getting her prescriptions at one drugstore, but she still had a feeling that something was amiss. She felt her mother was too groggy in the morning for someone who'd had a good night's sleep. She told me her mother had a recent checkup, and that her doctor couldn't explain the problem.
I asked if the doctor reviewed all of her medications, and she said that he had. Then I asked her about her mother's attit...
Resources www.ashastd.org -- American Social Health Association www.niaid.nih.gov -- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases www.cdc.gov/std/herpes -- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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