PATIENT INFORMATION ABOUT TREATMENTS FOR ASTHMA AND ALLERGIC RHINITIS, PRESCRIPTIONS & OVER THE COUNTER MEDICINE

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1 PATIENT INFORMATION ABOUT TREATMENTS FOR ASTHMA AND ALLERGIC RHINITIS, PRESCRIPTIONS & OVER THE COUNTER MEDICINE The content of this booklet was developed by Allergy UK. MSD reviewed this booklet to comment on matters of factual accuracy however Allergy UK retained final editorial control. The production, printing and distribution of the booklet was funded by a grant from MSD. MSD is also distributing copies of the booklet.

2 CONTENTS PRESCRIPTION TREATMENTS FOR PATIENTS WITH ASTHMA Page 3... Short Acting Beta2Agonists Inhaled Corticosteroids Long Acting Beta2Agonists Combination Inhalers PRESCRIPTION TREATMENTS FOR PATIENTS WITH ASTHMA Page 4... Oral Preventers Oral Corticosteroids PRESCRIPTION OR OVER THE COUNTER TREATMENTS FOR PATIENTS WITH ALLERGIC RHINITIS Page 5... Antihistamines Topical Nasal Treatments PRESCRIPTION OR OVER THE COUNTER TREATMENTS FOR PATIENTS WITH ALLERGIC RHINITIS Page 6... Oral Corticosteroids Cromoglicate Eye Drops PRESCRIPTION TREATMENTS FOR PATIENTS WITH BOTH ASTHMA AND ALLERGIC RHINITIS Page 7... Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists Inhaled and Topical Nasal Corticosteriods

3 Prescription treatments for patients with Asthma Short Acting Beta2 Agonists Inhaled Corticosteroids Long Acting Beta2 Agonists Combination Inhalers If your asthma symptoms are infrequent and mild, you will be given an inhaler containing a medicine called a short acting beta2-agonist which you should use to relieve the symptoms of asthma. They work by relaxing the muscles of your airways and decreasing the amount of mucus. If your asthma symptoms are more frequent, you will probably be given regular preventer therapy. Exactly how inhaled corticosteroids work is not entirely clear, but they are known to reduce the amount of inflammation in the airways, and prevent asthma attacks occurring. These work in the same way as short acting beta2-agonists, but they take longer to take effect, and they can last up to 12 hours. You should only use your long acting beta2- agonist inhaler in combination with your inhaled corticosteroids inhaler, and not by itself. Combination inhalers contain both a long acting reliever and a steroid preventer.

4 Oral Preventers Prescription treatments for patients with Asthma Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists Leukotrienes are chemicals released during an allergic reaction that cause inflammation of your airways. Leukotriene receptor antagonists are tablets that work by blocking the effects of leukotrienes in both the upper and lower airways. Theophyllines This oral medication helps to widen your airways by relaxing the muscles around them. In some people, theophyllines have been known to cause a number of side effects, including headaches, nausea, insomnia, vomiting, irritability and stomach upsets. Oral Corticosteroids This oral medication is usually used as a short course in acute asthma flare-ups. Long term use of oral steroids carries potentially serious side effects, so they will only be used once all other treatment options have been tried, and all trigger factors have been eliminated as far as possible.

5 Prescription or over the counter treatments for patients with Allergic Rhinitis Antihistamines One mode of treatment is an antihistamine, usually in tablet form (liquids are also available). It blocks the action of the chemical, histamine, which the body releases when it thinks it is under attack from an allergen. Topical Nasal Treatments Corticosteroids If your symptoms are persistent, or you have found antihistamine not fully effective in previous seasons, then the regular use of a nasal-spray containing a topical steroid is a more effective option and will have greater effect at relieving symptoms. Ipratropium Bromide This treatment begins improving a runny nose within 15 minutes. It has no effect on nasal congestion, sneezing, or postnasal drip.

6 Prescription or over the counter treatments for patients with Allergic Rhinitis Oral Corticosteroids Rarely indicated in the management of rhinitis, except for severe nasal obstruction or short term rescue medication. Oral corticosteroids should be used briefly and always in combination with a topical nasal corticosteroid. Cromoglicate Eye Drops Itchy and watering eye symptoms often respond to the regular use of cromoglicate eye drops. Cromoglicates work by reducing the release of irritant chemicals from immune system cells during an allergic reaction. They should not be used if you wear contact lenses.

7 Prescription treatments for patients with both Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists Your doctor or nurse may prescribe you a leukotriene receptor antagonist for both your asthma and allergic rhinitis. These tablets should be taken in addition to your usual preventer inhaler. Leukotrienes are chemicals released during an allergic reaction that cause inflammation of your airways. Allergic rhinitis in the upper airway can make asthma worse in the lower airway. Leukotriene receptor antagonists work by blocking the effects of leukotrienes in both the upper and lower airways. Inhaled and Topical Nasal Corticosteroids + The inhaled corticosteroid treats the asthma component of your condition. Exactly how inhaled corticosteroids work is not entirely clear, but they are known to reduce the amount of inflammation in the airways, and prevent asthma attacks occurring. The topical nasal corticosteroid treats the allergic rhinitis component of your condition. The treatment reduces swelling and irritation in your nose.

8 Allergy UK is a national medical charity established to increase understanding and awareness of allergy and intolerances, to help people manage their allergies and to provide training in allergy for healthcare professionals including Doctors, Nurses, Dieticians and Pharmacists. Allergy UK Helpline Number (9am-5pm Monday - Friday) Allergy UK Website: Allergy UK is the operational name of the British Allergy Foundation a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales Company No: Charity No: Registered in Scotland Charity No: SCO Allergy UK all rights reserved EA.4.SGA GB.11 Date of preparation: May Version 2

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