Chronic Asthma Treatment

Treatment for chronic asthma is based on a five-step approach. The initial objectives are to control symptoms and normalize lung function, then adjust medication appropriately in response to changes.

Treatment for chronic asthma often is modified to suit the patient. Acute exacerbations in people with mild persistent, moderate persistent, and severe persistent asthma (as well as mild intermittent asthma) normally involves using a bronchodilator as needed, up to 3–4 times/day.

Long-Term Asthma Control Medication

  • Mild intermittent asthma—None
  • Mild persistent asthma—Cromolyn sodium, nedocromil, low-dose inhaled corticosteroid, possible leukotriene modifier, etc.
  • Moderate persistent asthma—Medium-dose inhaled corticosteroid alone and with cromolyn sodium or nedocromil, leukotriene modifier, long-acting bronchodilator or long-acting beta2 agonist
  • Severe persistent asthma—High-dose inhaled corticosteroids, oral corticosteroids; high-dose inhaled corticosteroids plus leukotriene modifier, plus long-acting bronchodilator, plus leukotriene modifier, plus long-acting bronchodilator

**Step up or down as needed.

Updated by Remedy Health Media

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 01 Jun 2000

Last Modified: 10 Oct 2014