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It's important to remember that asthma causes airway constriction, inflamation, and increased mucus production. So by getting a chest cold it can irritate the airways increasing their sensitivity to an asthma attack. You mentioned that your asthma was mostly during exercise and maybe when you were stested an exercise test showed that to be the only time you experienced asthma. However, you might want to speak to your doctor about your concerns with the colds and see if he/she recommends a maintaince drug like ipratropium bromide aka atrovent which has drying effects to help with the congestion. Also when you have the cold you could ask them about using a steroid like flovent to help fight the inflammation which will also help prevent the asthma attacks.

I will list a medication rundown for you, It is hard to say what you doctor may recommend, but atleast you'll have an idea what's used for what.

Category 1

Beta2 Agonist - Quick relieving bronchodilator.(relaxes smooth muscle around the airways)
Examples: Albuterol, Metaproterinol aka Alupent
Nebulizer & MDI available


If Heart rate accelerates a lot levalbuterol aka Xopenex may be substitubted for albuterol


Long Acting Beta2Agonists - Does the same thing as the Quick Relieving with a longer time of effectiveness.
(used if Albuterol is needed on a regular basis)
Examples: Formoterol aka Foradil, Salmeterol aka Serevent
MDI and ?????neb????

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Category 2

Anticholinergic - Drying agent and has bronchodilating effects
Examples: Ipratropium aka Atrovent
Nebulizer and MDI

Recently many are finding instead of taking Atrovent they switched to Spiriva which is taken only once a day ....

Long Acting Anticholinergic - Drying agent and has bronchodilating effects.
Examples: Tiotropium aka Spiriva
DPI only (inhalation doesn't have to be AS fast as with a regular DPI)
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Category 3

Steroids = Stabilizer / Anti-inflammatory (makes lungs less reactive and less inflammed.)
Examples: Beclomethasone aka QVAR, Budesonide aka Pulmicort, Flunisolide aka AeroBId, Fluticasone aka Flovent, Triamcinolone aka Azmacort
MDI and ?????neb????

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COMBINATION THERAPY ~ easier for people because it combines the drugs

Combination Steroid & Beta2 Agonist Example: Fluticasone & Salmeterol aka Advair Discus (DPI aka Dry powder inhaler: requires fast inhalation)


Combination Anticholinergic & Beta2Agonist example: Ipratropium & Albuterol aka Combivent (MDI)

Combination Anticholinergic & Beta2Agonist
Example: Duoneb aka Ipratropium & Albuterol. (Nebulizer)

Order to take medications (if not combos)
1. Beta2 agonist
2. Anticholinergic
3. Steroid
I just wanted to note, spiriva is used with COPD.





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