Last updated: Aug 01, 2009
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(ISTOCKPHOTO)
There is no cure for asthma, but asthma symptoms—wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath—can be managed successfully with medication. However, many people with asthma find its surprisingly easy to forget to take their potentially life-saving medication, or to mix medications up. Some people may find a prescription runs out and they forget to refill it, or they become convinced that the medicine isnt working. Others find it hard to remember which inhaler is used to treat symptoms and which one is used every day. Many people feel so good, they just dont think they need any medication at all, beyond the occasional puff from a bronchodilator inhaler.


This can be dangerous because some asthma medications are effective only if they are taken consistently—even when you feel great. Others are useless unless you are having symptoms such as coughing and wheezing.

It is important for children to continue taking asthma medication whether they have symptoms or not. Stopping medication, or taking too little, can result in severe asthma attacks that require hospitalizations or the need for more powerful medication to suppress inflammation.