Since there is no known cure for asthma, treatment options can only address symptoms. They report complications such as chest pain, nausea and vomiting, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and coughing up blood. What side effects and drug interactions are there with OTC asthma medicines? Coughing is a reflex that helps a person clear their airways of irritants. OTC ephedrine is available only as an oral medication in combination with guaifenesin as caplets, tablets, or syrup. Symptoms of hypoxia and/or hypoxemia may be acute such as fast heart rate, rapid breathing, and shortness of breath; or severe symptoms include confusion, the inability to communicate, coma, and sometimes death. The allergy and asthma associates at the NY Allergy & Sinus Centers are here to help determine what is causing your allergies and how best to treat them . Terms of Use. Asthmatic patients and their physicians may select from a wide variety of prescription medications. Other common symptoms, such as cough and shortness of breath, help determine if asthma is present. Use caution when first starting these products since they occasionally irritate the airways of some patients and may make the asthma worse. Alcohol and sulfite preservatives may trigger an asthma attack, and therefore, patients whose asthma is sensitive to these preservatives should read product labels carefully. The symptoms and signs of serious health problems can be caused by strokes, heart attacks, cancers, reproductive problems in females (for example, cancers, fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and sexually transmitted diseases or STDs), breast problems (for example, breast cancer and non-cancer related diseases), lung diseases (for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, lung cancer, emphysema, and asthma), stomach or digestive diseases (for example, cancers, gallbladder, liver, and pancreatic diseases, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease), bladder problems (for example, urinary incontinence, and kidney infections), skin cancer, muscle and joint problems, emotional problems or mental illness (for example, postpartum depression, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mania, and schizophrenia), and Asthma nebulizers, or breathing machines, convert liquid medication into mist for easy inhalation. Oral theophylline-ephedrine tablets are also designed to be used during asthma symptom flare-ups. Rapid sequence intubation (RSI) is the administration of a strong anesthetic agent followed by a rapidly acting paralytic agent (all within one minute) to make the patient unconscious. If you’re thinking about changing to an OTC option, discuss the potential move with your doctor. The common types of asthma include nocturnal asthma, exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, allergic asthma/seasonal asthma, as well as occupational asthma and cough variant asthma. In addition, patients should seek medical advice before taking ephedrine if they are already taking antidepressants. Although prescription and over-the-counter medications can't cure allergies, they can prevent or relieve your symptoms. When they are better, the volume of air exhaled in that first second (referred to as FEV1, forced expired volume in one second) often is normal. Prior to using ephedrine, talk with your doctor to determine if it is appropriate for you and your specific needs. There are many causes of an excessive or severe cough including irritants like cigarette and secondhand smoke, pollution, air fresheners, Health care professionals diagnose asthma by the presence of wheezing, though wheezing can occur with other diseases, such as airway narrowing from other diseases, or excess fluid from congestive heart failure. Corticosteroids can reduce swelling and itchiness, help control sneezing and a runny nose, and treat rashes. This is due to the fact that a user may not know how it will interact with other medicines, and if the particular drug is indeed right for them. This is not true for OTC medicines, which are limited to epinephrine (adrenaline) and ephedrine. Several saline solutions are available OTC in various concentrations. This condition cannot be cured, but with a good Asthma action plan it can be well controlled. You may need other medications to treat allergies or asthma, especially if your symptoms become severe at times. Most pulmonary and allergy specialists would discourage the use of these OTC medications unless asthma symptoms are extremely mild and infrequent. What they do: Corticosteroids are similar to a natural hormone in your body known as cortisone. These have been banned and replaced by alternative propellant, hydrofloroalkane (HFA). For example, prescription inhaler forms of short-acting beta2-agonists (SABA), including albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin, ProAir, Xopenex), and metaproterenol (Alupent), inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) including Beclovent, Flovent, Qvar, Asmanex, Asmacort, Arnuity, Pulmicort, Aerospan, Alvesco and AeroBid, anticholinergics (ipratropium, tiotropium bromide, glycopyrrolate, umeclidinium, [Atrovent], Spiriva, Incruse, Bevespi), and other medicines are now widely used because of their greater effectiveness and fewer side effects. See additional information. Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways of the lungs, which can be managed with proper treatment. These were the effective medicines once for the asthma treatment and these can be still bought over-the-counter from many pharmacies. Epinephrine may cause rapid heartbeat, irregular heart rhythms, high blood pressure, tremor, or anxiety. The main problem in asthma involves inflammation and swelling of the airways. Previously chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were used as the propellant for inhaler therapy. Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments. There are a variety of prescription medications that can ease symptoms: Some reduce inflammations and swelling in your airways, while some help you breathe easier by relaxing your airways. These conditions include: Each of these conditions narrow the airways and make breathing difficult. Learn how to recognize early warning signs and symptoms of serious diseases and health problems, for example, chronic cough, headache, chest pain, nausea, stool color or consistency changes, heartburn, skin moles, anxiety, nightmares, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, delusions, lightheadedness, night sweats, eye problems, confusion, depression, severe pelvic or abdominal pain, unusual vaginal discharge, and nipple changes. In this situation, patients have a cough that is chronic or recurrent with the presence of normal lung function. Barotrauma mainly occurs either due to the rupture of the air sacs (alveolus) of lungs or a direct injury. What factors should patients consider in choosing and using OTC epinephrine or ephedrine? What is asthma? This combination is offered as tablets, caplets, or syrup. Learn information about asthma, a chronic disease of the bronchiole tubes. The nebulized epinephrine solutions may or may not require diluting with a separate saline (salt) solution before use. Learn asthma signs and symptoms in adults and kids so you can follow your asthma action plan and know when to seek medical care for an asthma emergency. Here’s our process. It is not advisable to use over-the-counter asthma medication unless instructed by a physician knowledgeable in the treatment of asthma. Repeated use of these agents should be strongly discouraged, unless under direct medical supervision. Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) Allergy Tablets: Allergy tablets are another form of allergy immunotherapy therapy and involves administering the allergens under the tongue generally on a daily basis. However, you may also need medicines to control allergy symptoms. New Test Can Distinguish Asthma from Allergies with Just One Drop of Blood. Discover information about asthma attacks, complications of asthma, and how to control an asthma attack. Racepinephrine (Asthmanefrin) is a bronchodilator that improves breathing by relaxing muscles in the airways. Want More News? Sign Up for MedicineNet Newsletters! Although over-the-counter medications for asthma relief are more convenient than going to a doctor and getting a prescribed medication, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America warns against taking over-the-counter medication without consulting with a physician. People with asthma should discuss the pros and cons of over-the-counter epinephrine inhalers with their doctor. home/asthma health center/asthma a-z list/asthma over the counter treatment center /asthma: over the counter treatment article. For example, AsthmaHaler Mist does not contain alcohol. Over-the-counter drugs for asthma are designed for the temporary relief of symptoms. If OTC asthma drugs do not relieve an episode of asthma within 10 (for epinephrine) or 60 minutes (for ephedrine) or the symptoms worsen, the patient should seek immediate medical attention. They are, for the most part, considered viable only for treating mild, intermittent asthma, and they are safe only when used as directed. Because steam inhalers warm and add moisture to the air, asthmatics may find some relief from these symptoms, making breathing feel more comfortable. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock. Nasal congestion and airway irritation are both associated with asthma. Recently, the FDA published safety concerns about the new medication Asthmanefrin and the EZ Breathe atomizer. There is also an intravenous medication for asthma (reslizumab [Cinqair]; see below). Ephedrine poses a greater risk of causing adverse drug effects or drug interactions than epinephrine because it must be absorbed into the body to be effective. Asthma causes sensitivity to the airways, which can become inflamed and narrow on exposure to certain triggers, leading to difficulty in breathing. Many first-line controller and rescue medications are administered through asthma inhalers. When this occurs and lung function no longer returns normal when not having an attack, Asthma moves into the category of disease known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). See a medical illustration of the bronchioles plus our entire medical gallery of human anatomy and physiology. By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Over-the-counter products What are additional measures in the management of asthma? and even prevent them in the future. All rights reserved. Tricyclic antidepressants (desipramine, amitriptyline, doxepin, and imipramine) may block the effect of ephedrine. What Is Asthma? We include products we think are useful for our readers. There is currently no cure for asthma, and no specific, single cause for asthma has been identified. The CFCs were felt to contribute to damage to the ozone layer. Agender is defined as not having a gender. Common side effects include: According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, see your doctor if you take ephedrine and you: While the large majority of cases of asthma can be managed with prescription or OTC treatments, the condition can be life-threatening, so changing medication should not be taken lightly.

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