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Control Your Asthma, Don't Let It Control You

Published on 17 October 2013

Question: Can I be proactive about treating my asthma? Or is it better to wait for an asthma attack to take my medicine?

Answer: It’s good that you’re trying to be proactive about your asthma. Taking steps to head off symptoms can prevent serious asthma attacks.

People often don’t like taking medicines. The purpose of a daily controller medicine is to prevent symptoms. Preventing symptoms takes small amounts of medicine. Taking your controller medicine helps you complete your daily activities with fewer symptoms. They can also help you miss less work or school and also prevent more serious asthma attacks. Controller medicines help you breathe your best. Once asthma symptoms start, much larger amounts of quick relief medicines are needed.

It can be difficult to remember medicine every day. Think of your daily routine.  Put the controller medication next to the breakfast table, on top of a school backpack, or near the car keys. Find something that works for you.

Refilling your medicine regularly is also important. Watch the counter on your inhaler.  Order more medicine a few days before you run out.  Perhaps your pharmacist can automatically refill it and remind you each month. Work with your pharmacist to find a system that works best for you and your family. 

Asthma Friendly Pharmacy® Tip

A controller medicine is the way to go if you:

  • Want to take less quick relief medicine
  • Have fewer symptoms
  • Want to be more active

Talk to your pharmacist if you think a controller medicine may help you. Taking your controller medicine each day can keep the wheezes away!

Suzanne G. Bollmeier, Pharm.D., BCPS, AE-C, professor of pharmacy practice

Theresa R. Prosser, Pharm.D., BCPS, AE-C, professor of pharmacy practice

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