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What treatments are used for severe asthma?

People with severe asthma will use many of the same medicines used by people with more mild to moderate asthma (preventers and relievers). However, people with severe asthma do not respond as well to these commonly prescribed asthma treatments, and often require additional treatment options.

Severe asthma is not the same for everyone. So finding the right treatment options may take time and will differ from person to person.

The goal of asthma treatment is to achieve the best possible level of asthma control with the lowest amount of treatment. However, people with severe asthma tend to have more symptoms or flare-ups even when taking the highest recommended level of preventer treatment, or needing the highest recommended level of preventer treatment continuously to control their asthma. At this point a referral to a specialist is recommended.

It’s important that your healthcare professional checks your inhaler technique and makes sure that you are taking your medicine properly and getting the full dose into your lungs every day. Sometimes just a simple tweak to your technique can improve how much medicine makes it to your lungs and this can improve your asthma control.

People with severe asthma will mostly likely need to take some of the following medications:

Preventer
Preventers contain an inhaled corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory) to reduce the inflammation, sensiti ...
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Combination Preventer
Combination preventers contain two medicines within the one inhaler, an inhaled corticosteroid to re ...
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Reliever
Everyone with asthma should have a reliever medication. Relievers are fast acting medication that gi ...
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Add-on medication
If you have severe asthma, sometimes other types of medication are used together with a preventer an ...
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Oral Corticosteroids
People with asthma are sometimes prescribed short courses of oral corticosteroid tablets (such as pr ...
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What other severe asthma treatments are there?

For some people with severe asthma there are some add-on medicines called biologics, (sometimes called ‘steroid-sparing treatments’ or monoclonal antibodies). Read more about these asthma treatments here. 

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