Many medications can be used to help control asthma. The most commonly prescribed include:
Controlling inhalers are used every day on a regular schedule. Their purpose is to decrease the amount of inflammation in your lower airways, making you less likely to have asthma symptoms.
Rescue inhalers used for quick relief from increased asthma symptoms. They are normally only used when your chest is tight or you are wheezing, rather than on a regularly scheduled basis.
These medications help block leukotrienes, molecules that constrict your airways and contribute to the development of asthma symptoms. The main leukotriene modifier used in the Unites States today is Singulair.
There are two main classes of antihistamines: first generation (sedating) and second generation (non-sedating). Benadryl is a classic example of the first generation antihistamines, which work very well and are inexpensive in generic form. Most people taking first generation antihistamines report a feeling of sleepiness. Second generation non-sedating medications currently available in the United States include are Allegra, Claritin and Zyrtec.
These pills don't directly treat allergies or asthma, but they do treat the swelling of sinuses that develop from allergies.