Asthma is a disease of the airways which causes difficulty in breathing. It is caused by inflammation of the air passages that make them narrow. Symptoms of narrowing airways include whistling noise with breathing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. There can be several triggers or factors that can aggravate the symptoms of asthma. Common factors include dust, mites, pollen, smoke, pollution , weather changes, cold & cough and respiratory infections . Asthma can be broadly categorised into two categories – specific and non-specific. Specific asthma is caused by breathing in allergens or irritants while non-specific asthma is caused by exercise, weather or genetic predisposition. The exact cause of asthma is not known but it is seen in families having a history of asthma. Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be managed well with a number of treatment options aimed at relieving the symptoms and preventing the occurrence of severe asthma attacks. Here's what Dr Navneet Sood, Consultant, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Jaypee Hospital, Noida has to say about causes, symptoms, and treatment of asthma.
This research study is testing alendronate, an FDA approved medication for osteoporosis. This medication is not yet approved by the FDA for asthma treatment. The purpose of this study is to find out if alendronate affects the loss of bronchoprotection in patients with asthma who are taking beta-2-agonists. Beta-2-agonists are bronchodialating asthma medications such as albuterol and salmeterol. Bronchodilators are inhaled medicines that relax the muscles in the airway. This makes the airway bigger so it is easier to breathe. They also protect against airway narrowing when you are exposed to your asthma triggers.
Leukotriene modifiers include LTRAs and leukotriene inhibitors, which both act as anti-inflammatory medications. LTRAs block leukotriene receptors, whereas leukotriene inhibitors block the production of 5-lipoxygenase. The two LTRAs licensed in the United States are montelukast (Singulair) and zafirlukast (Accolate). LTRAs may be used as monotherapy for mild persistent asthma, but are considered second-line agents based on the EPR-3 10 and GINA guidelines. 30 For mild to moderate asthma, the risk of exacerbation is approximately 50% less in patients prescribed an inhaled corticosteroid compared with those prescribed an LTRA. 15 A 2014 Cochrane review found an LABA plus inhaled corticosteroid to be modestly superior to an LTRA plus inhaled corticosteroid in adults with inadequately controlled asthma. 26 LTRAs are best used to improve pulmonary function in patients with aspirin-sensitive asthma 31 and to decrease symptoms in exercise-induced bronchospasm. 32 , 33 They should also be considered in patients with mild persistent asthma who prefer not to use inhaled corticosteroids. Although LTRAs generally have few adverse effects, physicians should be aware of rare case reports of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss syndrome), psychiatric symptoms, hypertriglyceridemia, angioedema, urticaria, and glomerulonephritis. 34