The preponderance of clinical data suggest that inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) are the preferred therapy for the long-term management of asthma, whereas oral or parental corticosteroids and short-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists remain the mainstay treatment of acute exacerbations. Allergen and tobacco avoidance are tenets to the practice of allergy-immunology and are beneficial in the treatment of asthma. Failure to avoid animal danders or fungi to which a patient with asthma is allergic is a risk factor for a fatal attack. First introduced in the 1970s, ICSs are the mainstay of pharmacotherapy to control airway inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness in children and adults with asthma. ICSs reduce symptoms, exacerbations, hospitalizations, and deaths while improving quality of life and lung function. When used in combination with an ICS, essentially all clinical trials have indicated that long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists are effective and safe. Leukotriene modifiers (LTMs) are effective in the treatment of persistent asthma, exercise-induced asthma, and aspirin-induced asthma but, in general, are less efficacious than ICSs when used as monotherapy to control asthma symptoms. Nevertheless, some patients respond to LTMs better than ICSs so a personalized approach to asthma pharmacotherapy is recommended. Not only is conventional (subcutaneous) allergen immunotherapy effective in patients with allergic asthma, immunotherapy (subcutaneous or sublingual) administered for rhinoconjunctivitis in children has been shown to reduce the development of asthma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine