Use your asthma medication correctly

It is a medical recommendation to use the smallest dose of asthma medication to provide you with the best control, yet patients are seldom, if ever, asked to try a smaller dose. Instead they remain on the same dose for years unless their asthma worsens, and then the dose increases.

Sometimes this might be because the patient does not return to their doctor when they are well again, and instead continue to take the medication that they were prescribed while having an asthma flare-up or it may be that because the asthma is stable on the new higher dose, the doctor decides to leave the person on it.

From around the world, the usual guide for asthma management is to follow these types of instructions:

  1. Only use short-acting bronchodilator or reliever medications (usually a blue puffer) as required. This means that you should only use the inhaler when you actually feel the symptoms of asthma.
  2. Should you "require" this inhaler more than three times a week, you should start using an inhaled steroid every day.
  3. If you take an inhaled steroid every day and still require your blue puffer more than 3 times a week, then you should begin to use a long-acting bronchodilator as well as the inhaled steroid every day.
  4. If you take the inhaled steroid and long-acting bronchodilator every day and you still require your short–acting bronchodilator more than 3 times a week, then you should have your steroid dose increased.
  5. Most people seem to quite happily follow these guidelines, but what they do not realise is that this guideline is also supposed to be reversed when the short-acting bronchodilator is not required more than 3 times a week. This is because, while asthma drugs on the whole work brilliantly well at controlling asthma, they have significant side effects, and so using the minimum amount to maintain a good level of asthma control is considered the best tactic.

For example, where discussing the presciption of Seretide, which is a combination of inhaled steroid and long-acting bronchodilator, from http://www.medicines.org.uk/EMC/medicine/2914/

The dose should be titrated to the lowest dose at which effective control of symptoms is maintained. Where the control of symptoms is maintained with the lowest strength of the combination given twice daily then the next step could include a test of inhaled corticosteroid alone.

What Buteyko is particularly brilliant at is reducing the need for the short-acting bronchodilator. Even with serious asthmatic conditions, Buteyko has been proven to reduce asthma symptoms by a whopping average 71%! This means that you will no longer "require" your short-acting drugs by at least this much. As you reduce the need for these drugs then the other more powerful ones can be gradually and safely peeled away, and all under the advice and guidance of your doctor.

"Buteyko, after two years, is by far the best and most effective means of reducing the effects of asthma without the side effects of drugs." Bill

"Two years after finishing a Buteyko course: A 100% decrease in Ventolin, a 50% decrease in Becotide, a 100% increase in general health and well being and I don't even do any exercises currently." Maria

"I have been impressed with the improvements through Buteyko. Though I don't practice the exercises I no longer carry Ventolin at all times & can usually control breathlessness due to exertion by Control Pauses and Shallow Breathing. Only one major episode in the last two years and that was due to inhaled gastric acid while under anaesthesia!" Mary

"I used Ventolin at least five times a day before I attended a Buteyko course two years ago. My hay fever and allergies made life hell. I haven't used Ventolin on a regular basis since about one month after the course. My energy, motivation and self-esteem have improved. Buteyko enabled me to exercise and so I lost weight and got fitter and healthier. I have 98% less hay fever and my skin is healthier - I have less eczema." Madeline