Mast cell stabilizers
Cromolyn sodium and nedocromil are mild-to-moderate non steroidal anti-inflammatory
medications with a strong safety profile. Both compounds have been shown to reduce asthma
symptoms, improve morning peak flow, and reduce the need for quick-relief beta2-agonists.
The clinical response to cromolyn and nedocromil is less predictable than the response to
inhaled corticosteroids. This agent is often tried in
given its safety profile, but may take a month to work.
Inhaled short-acting beta2-agonists are the medication of choice for the prevention of
exercise-induced bronchospasm and for the immediate treatment of acute asthma exacerbations.
There appears to be some consensus in the medical community that regular
(i.e., four times daily) use of beta2-agonists should be discouraged in favor of
Inhaled long-acting beta2-agonists are used as an adjunct to anti-inflammatory therapy
for providing long-term control of symptoms, especially nocturnal symptoms, and to
exercise-induced bronchospasm. Long-acting beta2-agonists are not to be used
for exacerbations. The frequency of beta-agonist use can be a useful monitor of
disease activity. Patient education regarding correct use is critical.
Don't use inhaled bronchodilator medication more often than
prescribed by your doctor.
When bronchodilator medications fail to control asthma,
immediately call your doctor or emergency room.
Long-acting beta2-agonists are not to be used for