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Component 3: Medication

As soon as symptoms start to develop, examine inhaler medication technique and adherence.

Did you know...

Most patients (80%) cannot use their inhaler correctly. This contributes to poor symptom control and flare-ups.

At least 50% of adults and children do not take controller medications as prescribed. Poor adherence leads contributes to poor symptom control and flare-ups.

Two Types of Medications: Controller and Reliever


medicines are used to achieve and maintain control of persistent asthma by reducinginflammation in the airways (the primary cause of asthma)

  • Taken every day whether or not experiencing asthma symptoms
  • Key to managing asthma; does not stop an episode once it starts
  • Reduces the inflammation (swelling) in the lungs
  • *** The most effective long-term controller medications are those that ease the chronic inflammatory aspect of asthmatic airway.
Quick-Relief Medication:

taken as needed, relaxes airway muscles to give prompt, temporaryrelief of symptoms

  • Works in 5 to 10 minutes
  • For symptom relief or pre-medicating before exercise
  • Frequent use for symptoms may be sign of asthma isnot in control

The proper use of inhalers is key to effective asthma management and achieving asthma control.

Every person with asthma should know and understand the action of their prescribed asthma medications. Addtionally, the school nurse should be aware of any and all asthma medications that are prescribed - regardless if taken at school or not. Controller medication use directly impacts the need for albuterol (quick reliever) usage. If the campus nurse knows all the medications, he/she can work with the student on adherence and inhaler technique. Working together can facilitate better asthma control; which directly impacts the student's ability to reach their full academic potential and successful academic year. ThisAsthma treatment poster may aid in this communication. Spanish Respiratory Treatments

Each campus nurse has the IN-Check Dial- which is a device that trains students in proper inhaler technique( inspiratory flow) to ensure proper medication delivery to the smaller airways.With a proper inspiratory flow rate,less puffswill beneededas the medicationis going directly into the small airways (vs back of throat). This benefits asthma student by reducing side effects, optimal medication response,less refills required, saving families money, etc

Does my child need a spacer? If your child uses an Meter Dose Inhaler (MDI) then a spacer is recommended. The spacer slows down the aerosolized particles to allow them to make the turn at the throat and travel into the small airways. This graphic shows where the medication lands with and without a spacer. If the medicine gets to where it needs to go (with a spacer) with the first two puffs, the need for additional puffs may not be needed.

Self-carry of quick relief medication is allowed under Texas law; given the student, campus nurse, physician and parents all agree the student is ready and able to self-carry. NEISD utilizes the American Lung Association Readiness to Self-Carry Assessment tool to guide students as theyprepareinthe knowledge and skillsto self-carry. ALA online version Assessment tool

NEISD In-Stock Albuterol Nebulizer protocol: available for asthma students inimmediate need of reliever medication (Albuterol)toreduce worsening symptoms or avoid emergency transportdue to severe symptoms. Currentdocumention of asthmadiagnosis is required.