Managing Asthma Medications

Anything you put into your body can affect how you feel. Every time you drink water, eat food, or take medicine, something happens in your body. Sometimes you get a desired effect, sometimes an undesired effect, and sometimes a little of both. Finding the right balance in the type and amount of medicines you use will help to give you the most benefit. Your doctor may have to increase or decrease the amount of medicine you take or even change your medicine to find the right balance between wanted effects and unwanted effects.

Talk With Your Doctor About Asthma Medications

Remember to tell your doctor if you feel bothered by:


  • symptoms due to asthma
  • unwanted side effects due to medicine

Reaching Your Asthma Treatment Goals

Even though sticking with your treatment can be hard, remember to keep taking your medicine as directed to prevent problems. Reviewing the short-term and long-term benefits of medicine can help motivate you to take it consistently. When you are symptom free, it's because you're helping yourself by following your treatment plan. Your treatment plan is your personal road map for reaching your goals.

Sometimes it's hard to take medicine as often as it is needed. If this is true for you, talk with your doctor. Some longer acting or even combination medicine may be easier for you to fit into your routine. Taking asthma medicine requires a little work, but is a key way to control your asthma. You will benefit most when you are consistent in following your doctor's instructions.

Nothing is better than feeling your best. Managing your asthma makes a difference in how you feel. You know that taking medicine as directed and monitoring your breathing daily take time. It is especially hard to remember to follow your asthma treatment plan when you are symptom-free. Even then, medicine may be needed on a regular basis to control the hidden inflammation and tightening in your airways. It's like regular maintenance for your car. The better you care for it when it runs well, the less likely you are to have a problem.

Take note of the things that you like and dislike about your asthma medicines. This will help you and your doctor work together to:

  • recognize the motivating benefits of your medicine
  • find strategies to address what you dislike about your medicine

Written by Karen Serrano, MD

Emergency Medicine resident at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Reviewed by Lisa V. Suffian, MD

Instructor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Allergy and Pulmonary Medicine at Saint Louis Children's Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine

Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, Saint Louis University

Board certified in Allergy and Immunology

Last updated June 2008