Severe asthma affects every part of Deborah Macfie's life.

It dictates where she lives, stops her from flying interstate, and has landed her in hospital three times in the past 12 months - most recently, about a fortnight ago.

"I don't think people understand, unless you're an asthmatic, how devastating asthma can be to your quality of life," Ms Macfie told AAP.

"Imagine trying to run up a flight of stairs with a straw in your mouth and breathing through the straw.

"That's what it's like for someone that has asthma."

The 54-year-old Southern Sydney resident has been forced to take tablets and ferry around four inhalers in a bid to control her condition - a burden soon to be lifted by the "triple therapy" inhaler Trimbow 200.

The asthma maintenance treatment, which becomes available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme on Sunday, contains three different medicines that can replace multiple inhalers.

Trimbow 200 is the first aerosol triple therapy inhaler in the country, and will give the most severe asthmatics more choice and increase their prospects of controlling the condition, St Vincent's Clinic respiratory physician Greg Katsoulotos said.

Triple therapy inhalers on the market in Australia have thus far been in powder form.

"Cost of living is a big issue, so having to pay for three different inhalers every single month becomes a huge issue and another reason why people won't take their asthma treatment," Dr Katsoulotos said.

"The result of that is often poor asthma control, asthma attacks, and people still dying."

About 400 people die from asthma in Australia each year, and Dr Katsoulotos believes they all can be prevented with good treatment.

Some asthma sufferers were put off by powder inhalers as the medication stuck in their throats or changed their voices, he said.

For Ms Macfie, inhaling a powder could make her cough worse. She knew she was properly getting the medication with an aerosol.

Up to 200,000 Australians struggle with severe asthma.

"These asthmatics live in lockdown every day. They can't go out (and) they don't want to socialise," Dr Katsoulotos said.

"It's a lot of people out there with that kind of locked-down life.

"This drug represents one opportunity to do something for these people."

Trimbow 200 has previously only been available to emphysema patients, and includes a drug to reduce swelling and irritation in the lungs, along with two drugs to relax muscles and open airways.

People with consistent asthma symptoms shouldn't just accept them, or become reliant on prednisone, Dr Katsoulotos said.

Asthmatics should consult their doctor and make sure their management plans were up to date, particularly in light of extreme weather events.

Trimbow 200 was developed by Chiesi Australia.

Source link