Take this quiz on asthma myths to test your asthma IQ and take an active role in your own health. A patient should seek medical attention and prepare to switch to a prescription asthma medication in most cases, but especially if: OTC epinephrine is available in various concentrations for oral inhalation or as a solution in vaporized form (nebulization). ©1996-2020 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved. gargle saltwater, use cough drops or lozenges, use herbs and supplements like ginger, mint, licorice, and slippery elm, Not only is this generally good advice, but also, if you read the packaging of an OTC inhaler, it clearly states that you should be diagnosed by a doctor before using it. An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments. If OTC asthma drugs do not relieve an episode of asthma within 10 (for epinephrine) or 60 minutes (for ephedrine) or the symptoms worsen, the patient should seek immediate medical attention. In asthma, this number is often reduced when a patient is having symptoms. Learn information about asthma, a chronic disease of the bronchiole tubes. home/asthma health center/asthma a-z list/asthma over the counter treatment center /asthma: over the counter treatment article. Asthma symptoms include wheezing (the hallmark of asthma), coughing, difficulty breathing, and tightness of the chest. Also known as adrenaline, epinephrine (EpiMist) is a bronchodilator that can open up airways to facilitate breathing. It is crucial to understand that over time the airway inflammation associated with asthma can result in permanent remodeling/scarring of the airways. Patients taking any medications should consult with their physician or pharmacist before starting OTC ephedrine. Ephedrine poses a greater risk of causing adverse drug effects or drug interactions than epinephrine because it must be absorbed into the body to be effective. Again, careful reading of the label will provide information about combining an epinephrine solution for nebulization with a specific saline solution. For example, prescription inhaler forms of short-acting beta2-agonists (SABA), including albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin, ProAir, Xopenex), and metaproterenol (Alupent), inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) including Beclovent, Flovent, Qvar, Asmanex, Asmacort, Arnuity, Pulmicort, Aerospan, Alvesco and AeroBid, anticholinergics (ipratropium, tiotropium bromide, glycopyrrolate, umeclidinium, [Atrovent], Spiriva, Incruse, Bevespi), and other medicines are now widely used because of their greater effectiveness and fewer side effects. The nebulized epinephrine solutions may or may not require diluting with a separate saline (salt) solution before use. Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, headache, fatigue, dark circles under the eyes, trouble sleeping, and loss of appetite. Three nasal sprays, budesonide (Rhinocort Allergy), fluticasone (Flonase), and Triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24HR), are available over the counter. Before taking racepinephrine, check with your doctor, as potential side effects might make it unsafe if you have medical conditions such as: In 2014, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology indicated that for protection against bronchospasm racepinephrine was less effective than albuterol (Ventolin HFA), a prescription drug used to treat asthma. The main problem in asthma involves inflammation and swelling of the airways. These have been banned and replaced by alternative propellant, hydrofloroalkane (HFA). ©1996-2021 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved. Oral and inhaled forms of epinephrine and ephedrine once were the only effective medications for treating asthma. 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