Asthma is a common chronic condition of the airways that is multifaceted and characterised by recurrent symptoms. It is a diverse condition that results from the interaction between a number of environmental and genetic factors.
Even though asthma is a chronic condition, it can be easily controlled. However, due to the numerous options of medication available in the market, it can get quite overwhelming to choose the best one. The effectiveness of a particular therapy for asthma depends on two factors – the manner in which the drug is delivered and the dosage of the drug.
Topical Drug Delivery System
Topical drug delivery is a mechanism that ensures the medicine is delivered to the right target site in the body, thus increasing the efficacy of the medicine. An example of this, are eye drops which are used to treat irritation in the eyes. In topical drug delivery, the eye drop solution is directly put into the eyes which targets the surface area of the eyes and is hence, quite effective. The same way, targeted delivery of medicines to the lungs can help treat asthma effectively.
Inhalers are one of the most widely researched and prescribed topical drug delivery systems for asthma. Essentially, there are devices that allow you to breathe in the medication. Asthma inhalers deposit the drug directly to the targeted site i.e. the airways. Unlike oral medications like tablets and syrups, which must be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and need to travel through the bloodstream to various parts of the body before they reach the lungs, this type of delivery system puts the medicine exactly where it is required.
Reasons Why Inhalers Are The Best Treatment For Asthmatics
Over the past few decades, inhalation therapy has established itself as a valuable tool in the local therapy of respiratory conditions. Many International Organisations such as the British Thoracic Society, Global Initiative For Asthma, and the National Asthma Council of Australia recommend inhalers as the preferred form of medication for those diagnosed with asthma. There are numerous benefits of using an inhaler to asthmatics, such as:
1. Lower Quantities Of Drug Required
For a tablet to have the same effect as an inhaled medication, a larger dose would need to be prescribed. Since a targeted dose is directly delivered to the air passages, the quantity required is significantly lower than that of any oral medication.
2. Lesser Side-effects
Inhalers have comparatively fewer or negligible side-effects. The reason being that since they deliver the drug straight to the airways and very little is absorbed by the rest of the body. It only reaches the inner walls of the airways and the adverse effects are largely minimised, making it safe even for pregnant women and children to use. In comparison, oral steroids are used for shorter periods of time as compared to inhaled steroids due to the many side-effects such as bloating, acidity, acne, and increase in appetite.
3. Quicker Relief
The onset of action of the drug using inhalation therapy is much faster as compared to the results of oral medication. This is due to the fact that the drug is directly delivered to the lungs and does not need to be ingested and then absorbed into the bloodstream.
4. Ease of Usage
Inhalers are becoming increasingly popular due to the ease of use, portable and compact sizing, and the relative cost-effectiveness.
Based on the many benefits of a targeted delivery system, including quick mechanism of action and decreased side-effects, it is safe to say that inhalers are the best treatment for asthmatics.
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Disclaimer: This content is for awareness and informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Please seek physician’s advice before use of any inhaler/medicine. Always consult and rely only on the advice of your doctor for any health issue and treatment.
1. Asthma Treatment. National Health Service (NHS). United Kingdom. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/treatment/
2. Inhaled drug delivery systems. Ciplamed. https://ciplamed.com/content/inhaled-drug-delivery-systems
3. Asthma. British Lung Foundation (BLF). https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/asthma/treatment
4. Preventer/Controller Inhalers. Asthma Soceity of Ireland. https://www.asthma.ie/get-help/medicines-treatments/preventercontroller-inhalers/preventercontroller-inhalers
5. Asthma medicines. Medicines and treatment. National Asthma Council. Australia. https://www.nationalasthma.org.au/understanding-asthma/treatment-and-medicines