Yes. The most common over-the-counter asthma drugs are Primatene Mist and Bronkaid. They both work like a bronchodilator, relaxing the muscles around the airways. They provide short-term relief (20-30 minutes), but do not control asthma symptoms or prevent asthma attacks. People with high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, or heart disease should not take Primatene Mist or Bronkaid.
Unfortunately, many people misuse or overuse these asthma treatments. The over-the-counter drugs are not meant for long-term use, yet some people use them every day to relieve asthma symptoms. Because they do not control asthma, people who take them may not be receiving proper treatment of their asthma.
If you are using an over-the-counter asthma drugs and are still experiencing frequent asthma symptoms, talk to your doctor. And if you are taking prescribed asthma drugs but are using over-the-counter medications occasionally, tell your doctor this as well. You do not want to be taking more medicine than you need.
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Archived: March 20, 2014
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