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Asthma and its Treatment

Usha Sangana*

Aditya institute of pharmaceutical sciences and research, affliated to Andhra university, Surampalem, Andhra Pradesh.

*Corresponding Author:
Usha Sangana
Aditya institute of pharmaceutical sciences and research, affliated to Andhra university, Surampalem, Andhra Pradesh
Email ID: [email protected]

Received date: 19/05/2015; Accepted date: 25/05/2015; Published date: 01/06/2015

Visit for more related articles at Research & Reviews: Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicological Studies


Airways, Corticosteroids, Bronchial asthma


Asthma is a significant and well known burden for all age groups. Even children are most affected by asthma. It is a disorder characterized by associate enlarged responsiveness of the airways to numerous stimuli leading to airway obstruction that's reversible either spontaneously or as a result of treatment. It is a chronic disease in which initially airways become swollen, and then they become narrow which leads to the difficulty in breathing. They can occur at any age [1-3].

Asthma is a chronic reversible reactive obstruction of lungs. It is a variable condition. Asthma is assumed to be caused by a mix of genetic and environmental factors [4]. To understand respiratory disease, it helps to understand how the airways work. These airways, or bronchial tubes, allow air to come in and out of the lungs. They become even more swollen and the muscles around the airways can tighten when something triggers your symptoms [5-8]. The inflammation makes the airways swollen and extremely sensitive. The airways tend to react powerfully to bound inhaled substances [9].

When the airways react, the muscles around them tighten. This narrows the airways, inflicting less air to flow into the lungs. The swelling can also worsen, creating the airways even narrower. Cells within the airways may build a lot of mucous secretion than usual [10-12]. Mucous secretion may be a sticky, thick liquid that may any slim the airways.

This chain reaction may result in respiratory disease symptoms. Symptoms will happen on every occasion the airways are inflamed [13].


Asthma was classified into intermittent and persistent


Intermittent bronchial asthma is the mildest type of asthma; however it's not a sort of asthma attack that's fully riskless. It is a most typical type of asthma in kids. In fact, within the most up-to-date asthma attack tips, the “mild” qualifier that antecedently was related to intermittent asthma attack has been removed to emphasize this terribly purpose. In intermittent asthma attack, impairment is low or absent. Symptoms are rare in intermittent asthma [15-18]. Some folks have their symptoms therefore typically they should have a preventer. As a result, patients with infrequent and mild symptoms of asthma should be treated intermittently with the aim of quick relief.

In fact, as a result of asthma attack, respiratory illness is outlined as a disease of chronic airway inflammation, in some ways that, the notion of intermittent asthma attack are a few things of a contradiction in terms [19]. Around seventieth of youngsters have infrequent intermittent bronchial asthma, which implies they need short, isolated episodes of bronchial asthma, typically in response to a respiratory tract infection or environmental substance. After all, however will a patient have intermittent, chronic airway inflammation? Clearly, intermittent asthma attack will exist, and relying upon the patient population in your apply; you'll see it often or sometimes. Still, several patients can have this manner of bronchial respiratory disorder as a result of milder types of asthma area unit most typical, and these gentle patients would require in progress clinical follow-up, acceptable medical management, and, like a lot of severely unhealthy patients, a transparent action arrange to follow [20-24].

Individuals with intermittent asthma attack can have minimal symptoms. Any level of symptoms that's bigger than this cannot match with the definition of intermittent asthma attack and can get to be treated with daily controller medication [25]. They'll have rare periods of exaggerated symptoms, and these “flares” won't end in the requirement for oral steroid medical care. Even once used during this fashion, a patient can still meet the standards for intermittent asthma attack as long as he or she isn't victimization the short- acting medicament for rescue.

Mild persistent

In gentle persistent respiratory disease, symptoms occur quite double every week however but once each day, and flare-ups might have an effect on activity. Night time flare-ups occur a lot than double a month however but once every week. Respiratory organ perform is eightieth of traditional or larger [26-29].

Exposure to chemicals, incorrect use of medicines and allergies can increase the risk of persistent asthma.

Persistent asthma was diagnosed by lung function tests, chest X ray.

Moderate Persistent

Asthma is classed as moderate persistent if symptoms occur daily. Flare-ups occur and typically last many days. Coughing and wheezy might disrupt the child’s traditional activities and create it troublesome to sleep [30]. Nighttime flare-ups might occur quite once per week. In moderate persistent respiratory illness, respiratory organ operate is roughly between hour and eightieth of traditional, while not treatment.

Severe persistent asthma

With severe persistent asthma attack, symptoms occur daily and sometimes. They conjointly of times curtail the child’s activities or disrupt his sleep [31]. Respiratory organ perform is a smaller amount than that of the conventional level while not treatment. Severe is that the least-common asthma attack level.
Some risk factors has been recognized which may lead to asthma. They are genetic characteristics, occupational exposures and environmental exposures [32-35].

Symptoms and Causes


• Coughing

• Wheezing

• Shortness of breath (Dysponea)

• Chest tightness [36-38].

Symptoms and severity of the disease change over time and in controlled conditions [36]. Asthma causes the recurring periods of symptoms [39]. Asthma can be cured and controlled with medications.


There are number of factors that are recognized to increase the chances of asthma, some of them are being overweight, smoker, allergic rhinitis and exposure to allergens [40-43].


Asthma can be diagnosed by lung function test, allergy testing, chest x-ray, electrocardiogram etc.
Most children United Nations agency has respiratory disorder develop their 1st symptoms before five years more matured [44-49]. However, respiratory disorder in young youngsters (aged zero to five years) is laborious to diagnose. Sometimes it's laborious to inform whether or not a baby has respiratory disorder or another childhood condition [50]. This can be as a result of the symptoms of respiratory disorder conjointly occurring with different conditions. Also, several young youngsters United Nations agency wheeze after they get colds or metabolic process infections do not press on to possess respiratory disorder when they are six years previous. However, it's hard to do lung function tests in children younger than 5 years [51-57].


Class of drugs used to treat asthma

Long-Term Therapy

Inhaled Corticosteroids


Leukotriene Modifiers

Oral Corticosteroids

Immediate Relief

Short-Acting Beta2 Agonists

Adjuvant Therapy

Long-Acting Beta2 Agonists

Methylxanthines [58-62]

Inhaled corticosteroids

Inhaled corticosteroids are the foremost effective medicine treatment out there for persistent respiratory disease [63]. These medications operate by suppressing the generation of cytokines, accomplishment of eosinophils, and unharness of inflammatory mediators. The clinical effects of those medications embrace reduction in symptom severity, improvement in peak breath flows, diminished airway hyper responsiveness [64-70], and potential interference of airway wall reworking. The dose of steroid hormone required varies looking on the particular product, delivery device and severity of the patient's respiratory disease. These medicines are employed in a metered-dose or dry powder dispenser. Inhalers could also be used otherwise, reckoning on the medication used.

There are some side effects by using these corticosteroids like oral trush, cough and dysponia. They may also have dose dependent adverse effects [71].


They have anti-inflammatory effects by blockading chloride channels. The modulations of somatic cell go- between unharness and white corpuscle accomplishment. Each medication will be employed in exercise- induced spasm and in gentle persistent asthma attack [72-75]. Nedocromil seems to be less assailable than cromolyn in inhibiting exercise-induced spasm. Cromolyn and Nedocromil area unit usually comparable in patients with gentle allergic asthma attack. Nedocromil could also be more practical in patients with non- allergic asthma attack taking inhaled corticosteroids and will facilitate to scale back the need for inhaled corticosteroids.

These drugs are safe profiled drugs [76].

Leukotriene Modifiers

Drugs that inhibit the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme will inhibit the synthetic pathway of leukotriene metabolism

They come beneath leukotriene receptor antagonists. Leukotriene modifiers stop the action of leukotrienes within the body. Leukotrienes square measure free from mast cells, basophils and eosinophils [78-83]. Leukotriene synthesis inhibitors stop synthesis of leukotrienes by obstruction the catalyst, 5-lipoxygenase that is critical for the formation of leukotrienes. They are used to prevent chronic asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Oral Corticosteroids

Systemic steroids can be useful in speeding resolution of asthma exacerbations. Oral corticosteroids relief inflammation and swelling within the airways. Throughout bronchial asthma, the thin walls of the airways swell and slender [84-89]. Reducing this swelling permits the airways to open up, permitting higher air flow.

Short-Acting Beta2 Agonists

These are bronchodilator which acts by relaxing the muscle linings the airways. Short-acting beta2 agonists square measure the medications of alternative in treating bronchial asthma exacerbations and exercise- induced spasm. The frequently scheduled, daily use of those medicines isn't counseled. The frequency of use of a beta2 agonist will be wont to assess the effectiveness of bronchial asthma treatment.

Long-Acting Beta2 Agonists

Long-acting beta2-agonists are recommended only in combination with a corticosteroid to treat asthma. These medications have a period of action of a minimum of twelve hours [89-95]. Long beta2 agonists are primarily to be used as adjuvant medical aid to medicament treatment. They will be used for semi- permanent symptom management and are notably helpful in treating nocturnal respiratory illness symptoms [96]. These medications are helpful in exercise-induced spasm.


Theophyline, the foremost common methylxanthine, causes delicate to moderate bronchodilation. Some recent proof suggests that theophyline may have a light anti-inflammatory drug part [97-101]. Sustained unleash Theophyline's principle use is as adjuvant medical aid and it's significantly helpful in dominant nocturnal symptoms. Though not a most well-liked choice, sustained-release theophyline will be used as primary treatment in some patients.