Doctor insights on:
Will Epipen Help With Asthma Attack
Since epipen (epinephrine) can temporary relax the air way, can epipen (epinephrine) used for asthma attack in emergency situations when no asthma medication available?
Depends: Epi pens are used in people who experience severe allergic reactions. The source of the allergy is not really important. If the asthma attack is the direct result of the allergic reaction it may be beneficial. However, "epi" is a non-specific "agonist" whereas your rescue inhaler is specific for the receptors in your lungs and would probably work better with fewer side effects. ...Read more
Different use: Epi pens are used in people with severe, lifethreatening allergic reactions. Epinephrine is also a non-specific drug in that it stimulates different areas of the body so that side effects are very common anad sometimes dangerous. The rescue inhalers like albuterol are specific for the "receptors" in the lungs and so have little side effects outside that area. ...Read more
Yes: Epinephrine is old school - that's the way asthma was treated 30 years ago when access to nebulized bronchodilators like albuterol was limited. Another thing you can do in a severe asthma attack while waiting for help to arrive is to take an additional 2 to 4 puffs of your rescue inhaler. Either of these emergency actions will buy time but you need to get to the er or your doctor's office now! ...Read more
9 days?: If your attack is lasting this long you should be checked. Status asthmaticus is a prolonged "attack" and if this is the case you may need more drug therapy than your inhalers can provide. Please do not wait any longer. ...Read more
Prevention first: The best way to treat an asthma attack is "before it happens". This means that having an action plan and medications to control asthma is very important. This way severe attacks are usually avoided. If an attack comes on suddenly, relax, use of albuterol (quick relief) and immediate treatment in the er with oxygen can usually reverse an attack. An asthma specialist can develop a plan for you. ...Read more
Take your meds: Asthma is a disease of chronic airway inflammation. If you take inhaled "controller medications", take them faithfully as prescribed. Keeping your asthma under good baseline control can lessen attacks frequency and severity. Also if you have triggers - cats, smoking, mold, etc - avoid them as much as possible. And if you smoke, quit! ...Read more
Different things: Some people experience asthma as breathlessness or feeling starved for air, others chest tightness or chest pain, and still others hear or feel the wheezing in their chest. A few people only have cough, although they are the minority. When severe, there is usually little doubt about the diagnosis, but milder forms can sometimes be difficult to sort out. ...Read more
Asthma attack: Asthma is a lung disorder -the lungs become inflamed and the airways become narrow from the inflammation. Symptoms include coughing at night, where it makes sleeping uncomfortable; a whistling sound in your chest (wheezing); chest tightness; and/or shortness of breath - where it feels like you can't catch your breath. Http://www. Nhlbi. Nih. Gov/health/health-topics/topics/asthma/ ...Read more
Hard to answer: Asthma attacks include coughing, tightness in the chest and difficult breathing. However, other conditions can also cause these symptoms. The best way is to be checked by a physician. A good history of your attacks and a simple spirometry test can rule out or confirm asthma. Get checked. Good luck. ...Read more
Not necessarily: Though this is a possibility, it not not very common. Today's controller and rescue inhalers- when used properly- have greatly reduced fatalities. ...Read more
Hard To Say: It is important that you get help from a medical professional. Asthma flare-ups like your can occur when pollen levels change, associated with an infection, or due to stress. Sometimes non-allergic environmental changes like a rise in the level of air pollution or indoor carbon monoxide levels can cause this. ...Read more
Asthma death: All asthma patients even mild are at risk for fatal asthma. Proper treatment and monitoring reduces that risk. Asthma death is usually a result of respiratory failure or complications related to its treatment. While it is often unpredictable, at times there are signs leading up to this. If you have frequent wheezing or albuterol use do not wait to get help from your dr. Or the er! ...Read more
Sorry, but you did: Not tell us anything about the episode you believe might have been an asthmatic attack. You can either clarify ; re-ask question or you can see your physician to check you out. Take care. ...Read more
Asthma attack: You're probably talking about an asthma attack caused by aspiration. This means inhaling something that should have been swallowed like food or stomach contents. This could set off an asthma attack. Aspiration can happen with people with swallowing difficulties such as with a stroke or when someone is intoxicated. ...Read more
Preventive therapy: The best strategy to prevent asthma attacks is to use an anti-inflammatory medicine on a daily basis as preventive therapy. It will help suppress airway inflammation (which is the root cause of asthma) & prevent symptoms worsening to the point where you have an asthma attack. There is a wide spectrum of asthma severity & you may need different strength of meds based on yr symptoms & pfts. ...Read more
It depends...: A concave chest, also known as a pectus deformity, can cause diminished lung function if severe. Usually however, a pectus deformity does not contribute to an asthma attack. It would be helpful to have lung function evaluated before and during an episode to know what the difference is and whether further evaluation by a chest wall surgeon should be pursued. ...Read more
Yes: Some physicians used to test for asthma with what is called a methacholine or histamine challenge test. These chemicals when inhaled in an asthmatic would cause bronchoconstriction of the airways at lower levels of the drugs than non-asthmatics. This is not done much (maybe not at all) anymore. Now asthma is generally diagnosed through clinical means - history and symptoms and reactions. ...Read more
2puffs: An attack is usually cleared with 2 puffs of a short acting bronchodilator (such as albuterol). It is best to wait at least 1 minute between puffs. If you need the rescue inhaler frequently, you will need mediacal attention. If you need to use a short acting bronchodilator other than before exercise more than twice a week, you would need a preventative medication such as an inhaled steroid. ...Read more
Not a rescue drug:
Advair is a combination drugs used as a "controller" in asthma and COPD. You should be taking it on a regular basis not after an attack. Your rescue inhaler (ie albuterol) should be used only when you are having an attack.
Talk over an asthma plan with your physician. So you know exactly when and how to use each drug.
Good Luck ...Read more
You go to the ER: A "bad asthma" attack is best managed by lots of albuterol and by calling 911 or going to the nearest emergency room. Once stabilized, consider effective asthma maintenance treatment consisting of ltra, laba, anti-histamines and steroids. The allergen should be identified and avoided. Your doctor may have to enlist the assistance of a pulmonologist or immunologist to best manage your asthma. ...Read more
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