Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lower airways. The typical symptoms of asthma are cough, wheezing and shortness of breath. Asthma is diagnosed based on measures of pulmonary function showing variable or reversible airways obstruction. The basic pharmacological treatment consists of alleviating the asthmatic inflammation with regular inhaled glucocorticoids and relieving sudden obstructions with as-needed inhaled beta2-agonists. The treatment is adjusted based on asthma control. If good control of asthma is not achieved with low to medium doses of inhaled glucocorticoids, additional control medication (inhaled long acting beta2-agonists, antileukotrienes, in adults also theophylline or tiotrohium) should be introduced.
Kari KK Venho