Welcome to alt.support.asthma! This newsgroup provides a forum for
the discussion of asthma, its symptoms, causes, and forms of treatment.
Please note that postings to alt.support.asthma are intended to be
for discussion purposes only and are in no way to be construed as
medical advice. Asthma is a serious medical condition requiring
direct supervision by a physician.
This FAQ attempts to answer the most frequently asked questions about
asthma on the newsgroup alt.support.asthma.
It was compiled by Patricia Wrean, firstname.lastname@example.org and is currently
maintained by Marie
Goldenberg, email@example.com. The
Asthma Medications FAQ is
also posted monthly as a companion to this one. For information
about allergies, please see the alt.support.asthma FAQ: Allergies --
General Information (still under construction), and its companion
posting, the Allergy Medications FAQ.
Please be aware that the information in this FAQ is intended for
educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute
for consulting with a doctor. Most of the contributors are not
health care professionals; this FAQ is a collection of personal
experiences, suggestions, and practical information. Please remember
when reading this that every asthmatic responds differently; what is
true for some asthmatics may or may not be true for you. Although
every effort is made to keep this information accurate, this FAQ
should not be used as an authoritative reference.
Comments, additions, and corrections are requested; if you do not
wish your name to be included in the contributors list, please state
that explicitly when contributing. I will accept additions upon my
own judgement -- I'll warn you right now that I'm a confirmed skeptic
and am not a great believer in alternative medicine. All
unattributed portions are my own contributions or those of the original
author, Patricia Wrean
Last-modified: 17 September 2000
- not added yet
- added since last version
- updated/corrected since last version
Table of Contents
- 0.0 Changes since last version
- 1.0 What is asthma?
- 1.0.1 What is chronic asthmatic bronchitis?
- 1.0.2 What is status asthmaticus?
- 1.0.3 What is anaphylactic shock?
- 1.0.4 What is COPD?
- 1.0.5 What is emphysema?
- 1.0.6 What is bronchitis?
- 1.0.7 What is pneumonia?
- 1.0.8 What is cystic fibrosis?
- 1.1 What is an asthma attack?
- 1.1.1 What is wheezing?
- 1.1.2 Do all asthmatics wheeze?
- 1.1.3 What is `coughing asthma'?
- 1.1.4 Is asthma hereditary?
- 1.2 How is asthma diagnosed?
- 1.2.1 What is a spirometer?
- 1.2.2 What is a peak flow
- 1.3 How is asthma normally treated?
- 1.3.1 How is an acute asthma attack
- 1.4 What are the most common
triggers of asthma?
- 1.4.1 What is intrinsic/extrinsic
- 1.4.2 Can gastric reflux trigger
- 1.4.3 What is occupational asthma?
- 1.5 Asthma and Pregnancy
- 2.0 What are the major classes of
- 2.1 What are the names of the various
- 2.1.1 Are salbutamol and albuterol
the same drug?
- 2.1.2 Can albuterol be taken while
- 2.2 Are some asthma drugs banned in athletic
- 2.3 What kinds of inhalers are
- 2.3.1 Do inhaler propellants bother some asthmatics?
- 2.3.2 What is a spacer? What is a holding chamber?
- 2.3.3 What is "thrush mouth" and how can I avoid it?
- 2.3.4 Is Fisons still making the Intal Spinhaler?
- 2.3.5 What's the difference between Spinhalers and Rotahalers?
- 2.3.6 Why are so many asthma drugs taken via inhaler?
- 2.3.7 How can I tell when my MDI is empty?
- 2.3.8 Are my aerosol inhalers going to disappear?
- 2.4 What kinds of tablets are there?
- 2.4.1 Why do I need a blood test
when taking theophylline?
- 2.4.2 Why are combination pills not
- 2.5 What is a nebulizer?
- 2.6 What medications should
asthmatics be careful about taking?
- 2.6.1 What about corticosteroids
and chicken pox?
- 3.0 What resources are there for asthmatics?
- 3.1 Where can I get the latest copy of the FAQs?
- 3.2 What is an FAQ, anyway? What is a Usenet newsgroup?
- 3.3 How about some other WWW links?
September 17, 2000
- Asthma Gen: Added 3.3 WWW links section
Asthma Gen: Added reference to Living Well With Asthma book
Asthma Gen: Added reference to The Doser (inhaler counter) in section 2.3.7
Asthma Med: Added reference to Advair (salmeterol / fluticasone)
Asthma Med: Added reference to Bambec (bambuterol)
Asthma Med: Added reference to Combivent (ipratropium / salbutamol)
Asthma Med: Noted that Bronkaid and Isuprel appear to have been discontinued in Canada
Asthma Med: Added reference to Xopenex (levalbuterol)
Asthma Med: Added reference to Oxeze (formoterol) turbuhaler
Asthma Med: Added reference to Pulmicort neb soln available in US
September 17, 1998
- Asthma Med: Added note that Foradil (formoterol) is now available in Canada
February 17, 1998
- Asthma Med: Added Serevent Diskus, Flovent Rotahaler, Pulmicort, Airomir,
- Tilade nebulizer solution, and Singulair (newly approved medications)
Asthma Med: Added note that Medihaler-Epi has been discontinued
Allergy Med: Added note that Seldane has been discontinued
Allergy Med: Added Nasonex (newly approved medication)
Asthma General: Added section 1.4.3, Occupational Asthma
December 6, 1997
- Asthma General: Split web version of FAQ document into multiple-page format.
August 17, 1997
- Asthma General: Added section 1.5, "Pregnancy and Asthma"
Asthma General: Added reference to new version of NHLBI report
Asthma General: Added reference to Adams book
Asthma General: Correct reference to Gershwin to reflect 2nd edition
June 17, 1997
- Asthma General: Correct publication information on "Children With
Asthma" by Dr. Plaut
Asthma General: Added links to archived version of Allergy
May 17, 1997
- Asthma Med: Added note that Nasalcrom now Over-The-Counter (OTC)
Asthma Med: Added Zyflo to Leukotriene Receptor Inhibitor section
Asthma Med: Added Proventil HFA MDI
Asthma General: Added discussion of phaseout of CFC
Asthma General: removed comment that "both spinhaler and rotahaler are
available in the US"
- (the spinhaler is not available in the US)
I am not a physician; I am only a reasonably
well-informed asthmatic. This information is for
educational purposes only, and should be used only as
a supplement to, not a substitute for, professional
Copyright 1996 by
Patricia Wrean, 1997-2000 by Marie Goldenberg.
Permission is given to
freely copy or distribute this FAQ provided that it is distributed in full
without modification, and that such distribution is not intended for