There are three types of drugs that have been linked to an increase in asthma symptoms and need be treated: aspirinand aspirin-like medications, beta-blockers, and sedatives. Note: The medications listed are not a complete list and whenever you are in doubt about taking a medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
One in twenty asthmatics are sensitive to aspirin. Even a single tablet can cause a severe attack, which often starts with flushing of the face, a running nose and followed by chest tightness. Other drugs that work in the same as aspirin, known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs which are used as pain killers, or to prevent blood clotting need to be carefully avoided in susceptible asthmatics.
Acetaminophen products, such as Panadol, Tylenol and Datril, are safe and widely available alternatives. If you are sensitive to aspirin, you should also steer clear of ibuprofen. Sold under the brand names Advil, Motrin, and Nuprin, ibuprofen is used like aspirin to relieve headaches, fever, and the joint pain of arthritis.
The generic names include analgesics and anti-inflammatories such as: aspirin, fenoprofen, ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen, phenylbutazone, piroxicam and tolmetin.
Beta-blockers are used to treat a number of conditions – including heart conditions, high blood pressure and as eye drops used to treat glaucoma. Asthmatics should be particularly careful of taking beta-blockers as these drugs may cause severe and life-threatening attacks. Beta blockers include: acebutolol, atenolol, betaxolol, esmolol, levobunolol, metoprolol, nadolol, pindolol, propanolol and timolol. It is important to remind your doctor that you have asthma when discussing any of these medications.
Sedatives or Tranquilizers
Asthmatics should advoid taking a tranquilizer, or sedative. Tranquilizers are often taken or administered with the best of intentions; parents have been known to give tranquilizers to their children to calm them down during or after an asthma attack. But tranquilizers have an extremely dangerous effect on asthmatics: tranquilizers sedate you and reduce your breathing capacity. In some cases of asthma, tranquilizers have caused death. During an asthma attack, it’s important to stay awake and stay calm
While not generally accepted as asthma triggers, many asthmatics have also had negative experiences when taking progesterone, pseudo-ephindrine and large doses of caffeine. Other people experience their first asthma symptoms of the day when they take their inhaled preventive medication. This could be an allergy to the propellant or even to the drug itself.