Medical providers’ goals of asthma therapy can be divided into two major categories - reduce impairment and reduce risk.  Reducing the impairment involves preventing chronic and troublesome symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath during the daytime, in the night, and after exertion; decreasing the use of inhaled  brochodilators to no more that 2 times weekly; maintaining near normal pulmonary function; maintaining normal activity levels including exercise and other physical activities and attendance at school or work; and meeting patients’ and families’ expectations of and satisfaction with the asthma care.

Reducing the risk involves preventing recurrent exacerbations of asthma and minimizing the need for emergency department visits and hospitalizations; preventing loss of lung function and for children, preventing reduced lung growth; and providing optimal pharmacotherapy with minimal or no adverse effects of therapy.

From a pharmacotherapy point of view there are a number of drugs currently being used in asthma prevention and treatment.  But I want to make you aware of another choice, glutathione, that, in reviewing the literature, is being studied more and more for alleviating symptoms, protecting healthy lung tissue, and decreasing the incidence of infection seen in asthmatic patients.  Glutathione (GSH) is a natural substance produced in human cells which consists of three amino acids.  It is found in highest concentrations in organs that are involved in detoxifying the body: lungs, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and kidneys.  It is the body’s main anti-oxidant and functions as a “detoxifier” in the lungs, decreasing damage from inhaled toxins and free radicals.  It tends to be depleted in certain chronic medical conditions and can be replaced via a number of dosage forms: injection, inhalation into lungs, and via nasal spray - depending on where depletion is being treated.  It’s place in therapy of upper respiratory conditions is yet to be determined but it appears to have a promising future.

For more information on GSH and other medication used with GSH please contact one of our pharmacists.

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