In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), use of an extract of the thymelike plant Zataria multiforma for 2 months was associated with a significant decrease in serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and respiratory symptoms, as well as increased values on pulmonary function tests (PFTs). Results of a placebo-controlled study of Iranian patients were recently published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology

Z multiforma has been used in Iranian traditional and folk medicine as an antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, and analgesic herbal medicine. It has also been used to relieve the cough associated with the common cold and respiratory tract infections. Building upon prior animal and clinical studies reporting on the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Z multiforma in respiratory tract disorders, the researchers of the current study sought to evaluate the use of Z multiforma extract in individuals with COPD.

The researchers enrolled 41 participants with COPD into 3 study groups: (1) placebo group (P; n=13), (2) Z multiforma 3 mg/kg/day (Z3; n=14), and (3) Z multiforma 6 mg/kg/day (Z6; n=14). For all study participants, inflammatory cytokines, PFT values, and respiratory symptoms were evaluated prior to treatment (stage 0), 1 month after treatment (stage I), and 2 months after treatment (stage II).


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With respect to respiratory symptoms, the researchers found that in stages I and II, cough and modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) scores were significantly decreased in both Z3 and Z6, compared with stage 0 (P <.01 and P <.001, respectively). In the placebo group, the researchers observed no significant changes in respiratory symptoms across the 3 stages of the study. 

Further, cough in the Z6-treated arm and mMRC score in the Z3-treated arm in stage II were both significantly decreased compared with stage I (P <.05 for both). A significant reduction in chest tightness was reported after 1 month and 2 months of treatment with low-dose Z multiforma (P <.05 and P <.01, respectively), but only after 2 months of treatment with high-dose Z multiforma (P <.01). 

Additionally, the percent changes in cough in both stage I and stage II, compared with stage 0, in both of the treated groups were significantly higher than the change in those in the placebo group (P <.01)  for all cases. In stage II compared with stage 0, the percent change in chest tightness in the Z3-treated and the Z6-treated groups was also significantly higher than that in the placebo group (P <.01 for both). Moreover, the percentage changes in mMRC scores in stage II compared with stage 0 and stage II compared with stage I in the Z3-treated and the Z6-treated groups were significantly higher than that in those in the placebo group (P <.05 and P <.01, respectively). 

Values of PFTs (ie, forced vital capacity [FVC], peak expiratory flow [PEF], and forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1]) did not change significantly during the 3 stages of the study, said researchers; however, they noted that FVC and FEV1 were significantly increased in both the Z3-treated and the Z6-treated groups in stage II vs stage 0 (P <.05 and P <.01, respectively). Further, in the Z3-treated group, FVC was significantly increased in stage II compared with stage I (P <.01). PEF was significantly increased in the Z6 group in stage I compared with stage 0 (P <.05).

With respect to change in serum cytokines, the serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) were both significantly decreased in stage II vs stage 0 in the Z3-treated and the Z6-treated groups (P <.01 for both). Additionally, the percent change in TNF-α and IL-8 in both of the treated groups in stage II relative to stage 0 were significantly higher than in the placebo group (P <.05 and P <.01, respectively).

The researchers concluded that Z multiforma may be a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of various pulmonary inflammatory illnesses, such as COPD.

Reference   

Ghorani V, Khazdair MR, Mirsadraee M, Rajabi O, Boskabady MH. The effect of two-month treatment with Zataria multiflora on inflammatory cytokines, pulmonary function testes and respiratory symptoms in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). J Ethnopharmacol. Published online April 6, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2022.115265

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breathing
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Take a deep breath in. Now, slowly, let it out. This simple activity is something we do all day long and seldom think about. But our lives depend on it. Every cell in the body needs oxygen, which is in the air we breathe.

Your lungs receive this oxygen and then move it into the bloodstream. Each cell in the body exchanges oxygen for carbon dioxide, a so-called "waste gas" that your bloodstream carries back to the lungs, where it is exhaled.

Even if you learned all of this in high school biology class, you likely haven't thought a lot about your lungs—that is, until you've had reason to do so. COVID-19 had many of us focusing on our respiratory health, of course, but conditions like the common cold, seasonal allergies, and asthma also cause irritation to these highly sensitive organs.

And, while you are aware that smoking, pollution, and viruses can injure the lungs, you may not realize that obesity and stress can harm them, too.

"Lung health affects the health of all our other organs and organ systems, especially our brain, circulation, gut, immune function, and musculoskeletal system," says Stephen Baldassarri, MD, MHS, a Yale Medicine pulmonary, critical care, and addiction medicine specialist. "Our lungs and airways are directly connected to the outside world. With every breath, we are inhaling what's in our environment. And, ideally, we should only inhale clean air."

We talked more with Dr. Baldassarri and other Yale Medicine specialists, from allergy and immunology to obesity medicine, about lung health.

How obesity affects your lungs

There's a reason people who are overweight or obese easily get out of breath going up a flight of stairs or doing other physical activities.

"An important aspect of obesity is how it affects lung volume," explains Jorge Moreno, MD, a Yale Medicine obesity medicine specialist. "If someone is obese, they can't always get a full breath or full volume into their lungs, which can create breathing problems."

Specifically, extra abdominal fat inhibits the ability of the diaphragm (a wall of muscle between the chest and abdomen) to properly draw in air and expand the lungs. People who are obese usually have smaller lung volume because of this, which leads to breathlessness, Dr. Moreno says.

There are also hormonal factors at play, for both men and women. As fat builds up under the skin, the fat cells secrete hormones. These hormones can cause inflammation throughout the body, including in the lungs, Dr. Moreno explains.

Severe lung inflammation was an early problem among many COVID-19 patients. It was no surprise to physicians, such as Dr. Moreno, that obesity emerged as a leading risk factor for severe illness from COVID-19.

"There are two stages to COVID. The first involves cold-like symptoms, which are typical and, in many cases, they resolve," Dr. Moreno says. "The other is the inflammatory stage, in which the lungs can become inflamed and damaged, potentially leading to problems with the heart and other organs. This is what led to severe disease and death."

Obesity is what Dr. Moreno calls "a pro-inflammatory state." If you add the effects of the virus on top of it, the theory is that inflammation is increased even more, he adds.

Even for people who managed not to get sick with COVID, the pandemic presented challenges. For instance, working from home, being glued to a computer much of the day, and putting in more hours, can make it difficult to find time to eat well and exercise.

"One piece of advice is to try and plan meals better. We can be flexible if we are at home, but that might mean grazing on whatever is in the fridge," suggests Dr. Moreno. "Instead, try to be mindful of what you are eating. This goes for alcohol, too."

Dr. Baldassarri recommends daily exercise and a diet consisting mainly of whole foods, vegetables, fruits, high fiber, and plant-based protein. "Try to engage in moderate-to-vigorous exercise at least 20 minutes every day," he says. "If you can do more than that, it's even better. But any amount of exercise, even a few minutes per day, is better than none. A healthy diet and exercise are great for lung-specific and overall health."

How stress harms the lungs

In stressful situations, your body releases hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, that can contribute to rapid breathing. If your lungs are healthy, this is not dangerous. However, in people with chronic lung conditions, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or asthma, the lungs can't move as much air in and out as they should. This can increase shortness of breath and can contribute to a sensation of panic.

More cortisol release can also cause other challenges, including increased appetite. Or, for those who smoke, stress can cause cravings to smoke more, notes Dr. Baldassarri.

"We know that cigarette and alcohol sales increased during the pandemic," Dr. Baldassarri says. "Those trends likely reflect the stress we have been feeling. Stress influences our entire body and is such an important determinant of our health."

The best thing for lung health is to practice a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating well, exercising, not smoking or vaping, and reducing stress as much as possible, Dr. Baldassarri says. "We can reduce our stress by getting enough sleep at night and taking some time each day to do meditation and focused breathing exercises," he says. "It's also important to spend time with friends and family who bring us positive energy."

How air quality impacts your lungs

Both indoor and outdoor pollutants can cause or worsen lung infections, cancers, and other conditions, including asthma.

In the home and workplace, chemicals, radon, asbestos, building and paint products, carbon monoxide, carpets (which can trap pollutants and allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, and mold), lead, and water damage are some examples of things that can make the air around us unhealthy.

Your exposure to outdoor air pollutants—from car exhaust to power plants to forest fires—can be harder to control, but it's important to know that such exposures can also trigger asthma episodes, make people sick, and negatively affect how children's lungs develop.

You can check your local air quality index, a system that tracks ozone (smog) and particle pollution (from ash, power plants and factories, vehicle exhaust, soil dust, and pollen) and other widespread pollutants, in order to know when to avoid spending too much time outside. The index is color-coded and ranges from "good" air quality in green to "very unhealthy" in purple.

Lots of media outlets, including websites, newspapers, TV, and radio stations, report the local air quality index, and you can also look up your location on airnow.gov. It's especially important to avoid exercising outdoors in unhealthy air because the effects of pollution on the body are worsened by the deep, quick breaths people take during physical exertion. It's also best to avoid exercising near high-traffic areas in general, and particularly when the air quality is poor.

People with asthma are especially sensitive to poor air quality, says Jason Kwah, MD, a Yale Medicine allergist and immunologist. "We know that asthma is more prevalent in urban areas and in people who live near major roadways," he says.

How infections injure your lungs

Infectious respiratory diseases, including flu, COVID-19, pneumonia, pertussis (whooping cough), RSV, and the common cold can harm the lungs. This is especially problematic because these conditions spread easily from person to person.

Most types of lung infections can be treated, but they can also be dangerous for infants, seniors, and people who have a lung disease or a weakened immune system. Fortunately, there are vaccinations (with the exception of RSV and the common cold) available for many common diseases that affect the lungs.

One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is how it has highlighted the importance of vaccination in general, says Geoffrey Chupp, MD, director of the Yale Center for Asthma and Airway Disease.

"Because of COVID, we have increased awareness about lung viruses—how they can affect the lungs, and the role vaccination plays in preventing these diseases," he says. "Vaccination has been at the forefront of many people's dinner table conversations, which is good. Public awareness is going to ultimately help people be better about taking care of their lungs."


Stopping lung damage before it turns deadly


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A user's guide to keeping your lungs healthy and functional (2022, May 20)
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Editor’s Note:  The following information was provided by the Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce, based on guidelines offered by Teller County Public Health and Environment. The ongoing High Park Fire, along with several blazes in the immediate area, has triggered concerns about health-related problems from the abundance of smoke. For  more information, contact Teller Public Health.

Health Recommendations for Wildfire Smoke

The smoke from wildfires can cause health problems for many people. The particles in the smoke from wildfires can be irritating to your throat, eyes and lungs.

Who is most likely to be affected by:

– Elderly.

– Young children.

– Pregnant People.

– People with pre-existing lung or heart/circulatory conditions (asthma, emphysema, COPD, allergies, heart disease, etc).

– People with respiratory infections such as the common cold, influenza and COVID-19.

– People with smoke allergies; not common and should be managed by your provider.

– Inhaling smoke is not safe for anyone, even if you are healthy and have no pre-existing medical conditions.

Symptoms of Wildfire Smoke Exposure:

– Eye, nose, throat irritation; runny eyes and/or nose.

– Sore throat.

– Coughing.

– Trouble breathing or chest tightness- this could be symptoms of a more serious medical condition; please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department immediately.

– Onset of asthma or emphysema symptoms.

– There is an increase in the chances of getting sick with a cold or having an immune response within days or weeks of exposure to smoke.

– If your symptoms persist and/or are severe you need to seek medical attention. Contact your primary care provider.

Tips for you and your family to help minimize your exposure:

– Stay indoors; Close windows and doors but not so tight that there is no circulation also, it could get dangerously hot inside if you do not have the means to cool your home with a filtered air conditioner.

– Seek locations that have filtered air for temporary relief.

– Use HEPA room air filters if you have them.

– Avoid exercising and limit activities outdoors when the smoke is heavy.

– Be sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating a healthy well-balanced diet and mitigating stress.

– Drink plenty of water.

– Keep your bedroom windows closed at night, smoke tends to be worse at dawn.

– Air out your home when the smoke is not thick/heavy.

– Cloth and surgical masks will not protect you from wildfire smoke.

– N95 masks can protect you from wildfire smoke.

Be on the lookout for information for N95 mask distribution location(s

For more information, click the links below

www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/smoke.html

www.colorado.gov/airquality/wildfire.aspx

To Contact Teller County Public Health – 719.687.6416

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Living in a place where airborne pollutants are aplenty and weather changes faster than you expect is a pain. You end up being sleepless throughout the night and yawning during the day because, well, your body remains restless when you can’t breathe properly, and focusing on important things gets tough.,

At a certain point, allergies and breathing-related issues can impact your everyday functions. So much, so that normal, stress-free breathing seems like a dream. Luckily, the technology has advanced to such a level that now you have a topical solution for most nasal passage problems! Hiloi nasal strips solve all the problems including, snoring, allergies, common cold, elevated stress, and oxygenation caused by high athletic performance.

What Are The Hiloi Nasal Strips?

Hiloi nasal strips are made explicitly for the people who snore while sleeping. These strips tackle the problem that leads to the condition of continuous snoring. What leads to it is the shrinking of the respiratory system, which makes it difficult for oxygen to move through the nasal passage. These strips act as nasal appendages. They keep the nose open so that the mouth can inhale the maximum amount of oxygen. Resultantly, it reaches all the parts of the body efficiently.

Continuous usage of these strips opens the nasal passage and enhances the space, and the air can move. Hence, its mechanism of action makes it so beneficial for the users.

To put simply, Hiloi Nasal strips manage oxygenation caused by clogged nose due to common cold, high stress level owing to enhanced athletic performance, blocked nasal passage due to an allergy and snoring.

How Do These Strips Work?

These strips are simply a tiny plaster you need to place on the nose. It is one of the simplest additions to life that would make it comfortable and calm. It is a flexible band that instantly opens the nostrils to improve the airflow. The passage of air will get a spring-like flow. With this continuous flow, there would be no chance of your nostrils getting blocked. Hence, breathing would get easier, leading to a snore-free sleep and comfortable breathing.

Difficulty in breathing comes from varied issues such as seasonal allergies, common cold, nasal congestion, and enhanced athletic performance. As oxygen is not able to pass through its route, it leads to a blocked nose and results in conditions like snoring, stuffy nose, and nasal irritation. These strips make this passage easier, no matter what the culprit behind the blockage might be.

Functions Of the Nasal Strips

The nasal strips are composed of various components and perform various functions. Each of these components plays a significant part in reducing oxygenation.

Reduces stress: Stress is one major cause behind lack of oxygen being supplied across the body and an enhanced heartbeat rate. These nasal strips reduce stress levels and bring your breathing back to normal.

Better athletic performance: Adhesive glue keeps it attached to the nose for as long as you workout – so, no worries about the nasal strip coming off because of sweating. It regulates the flow of oxygen across your body, leading to better athletic performance and calmer breathing.

Stops snoring: Wearing the strip while sleeping keeps the nose open for air to pass, reducing the chances of snoring.

Opens plugged nose: Common cold cause blocked and plugged nose. These strips unclog the nose, leading to better breathing and relaxed nasal muscles.

Who Are These Strips For?

These strips are a blessing for anyone who struggles with difficult breathing and seasonal allergies. If you’re often sneezing or someone sleeping near you is annoyed because of your loud snoring, these strips can be a breath of fresh air (quite literally) for you. Alongside this, the Hiloi strips help overcome common colds, seasonal allergies, nasal irritation, and above all, the dreadful snores we all loathe.

Hiloi Nasal Strips Pricing And Offers

These nasal strips are affordable, and you can hit the jackpot if you buy them NOW! Currently, they are on a fifty percent off deal, which slashes the original price to half. You can get your hands on them by paying only € 17,95. The shipping is free of cost, and there are no hidden charges that you may need to endure.

Hiloi Nasal Strips Contact Information

If you have some more queries or need to discuss something with the company’s representatives, you could always reach out to them at +1 (938) 201-8999. Or, you could write to them on their website, and they will be quick to respond.

FAQs

How long does one have to use them to see results?

As soon as you adhere them to the nose, you will feel the nose getting unblocked, and your nose unclogs. There is no need to wait for long hours and anticipate it’s working!

Can I wear the strip for the whole night?

Yes, you don’t have to get up from your sleep to remove it. Rather, you can keep wearing it throughout the night.

Do these strips help with allergies?

Yes, for anyone who deals with a blocked nose due to allergies, these strips help in mellowing down the effects of the allergies efficiently.

Final thoughts

The Hiloi nasal strips make life easy and stress-free. They deal with all kinds of annoying situations like snoring, allergies, colds, stress, or blocked nasal passages. Since these conditions often lead to difficult breathing, Hiloi strips offer a hassle-free solution for them. Within hours of wearing them, the user feels a great change, which leads to a stress-free and noiseless night’s sleep.

So make sure you pick up your supply of Hiloi Nasal Strips today by clicking here! >>>

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Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely substitutes for sound medical or financial advice from a licensed healthcare provider or certified financial advisor. Make sure to consult with a professional physician or financial consultant before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed as the statements regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA, or Health Canada approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and do not provide any kind of get-rich money scheme. Reviewer is not responsible for pricing inaccuracies. Check product sales page for final prices.

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What Is Anoro Ellipta?

Anoro Ellipta (umeclidinium and vilanterol) is a prescription inhalation powder drug used as a long-term maintenance treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It combines two active medicines into one inhaler: an anticholinergic (umeclidinium) and a long-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist (LABA) (vilanterol).

Anticholinergics like umeclidinium block the action of a chemical messenger called acetylcholine, which is responsible for communication between the nerves, muscles, and organs in your body. Umeclidinium helps relax and open your airway muscles. As a LABA, vilanterol similarly relaxes the lungs, allowing the airways to open. The effects of LABA medications can last about 12 hours, depending on which inhaler you use. This provides relief from some of the classic symptoms of COPD, such as wheezing, cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

Anoro Ellipta does not treat intense, acute flare-ups of shortness of breath. You should use your rescue inhaler for those instances.

This medication comes in a powder formulation for oral inhalation.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Umeclidinium and vilanterol

Brand Name(s): Anoro Ellipta

Drug Availability: Prescription

Administration Route: Inhalation

Therapeutic Classification: Respiratory agent

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Umeclidinium and vilanterol

Dosage Form(s): Powder

What Is Anoro Ellipta Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Anoro Ellipta for the chronic treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Anoro Ellipta should not be used to:

  • Relieve acute shortness of breath (bronchospasm)
  • Treat asthma, as the use of LABAs without inhaled corticosteroids for asthma, may increase the risk of asthma-related death

How to Take Anoro Ellipta

You should always follow the directions from your healthcare provider. Do not use this medication unless you understand how to use it correctly. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

Use Anoro Ellipta as prescribed, usually one inhalation once a day. Do not stop using your medication unless told by your healthcare provider, even if you feel better. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take more than one inhalation per day.

If you happen to be using more than one inhaler, ask your healthcare provider which inhaler should you use first. Be careful not to open and close the cover without inhaling the dose, as doing so results in a lost dose.

Some tips for taking care of your inhaler include:

  • Do not take your inhaler apart, wash it, or put it in water.
  • Clean the mouthpiece with a dry tissue or cloth
  • Use independently of a spacer

When using your inhaler, remember the following:

  • Your inhaler contains 30 doses. You will hear a click each time you open the cover of the inhaler.
  • Slide the cover down to expose the mouthpiece, and you should hear a “click.” The counter will count down by one number.
  • Breathe out fully while holding the inhaler away from your mouth. 
  • Put the mouthpiece between your lips, and close your lips firmly around it.
  • Take one steady and deep breath through your mouth. Do not breathe in through your nose.
  • Remove the inhaler from your mouth and hold your breath for about five seconds (or as long as comfortable for you). 
  • Breathe out slowly and gently. Do not exhale into the inhaler.

Get a refill when you have fewer than 10 doses remaining in your inhaler. The left half of the counter shows red as a reminder to get a refill when fewer than 10 doses are remaining. After you have inhaled the last dose, the counter will show "0".

Storage

Store Anoro Ellipta at room temperature in a dry place away from moisture, heat, or sunlight. Keep out of reach of children or pets to prevent accidental consumption. Keep the unopened inhaler in the original foil tray until ready to use. Discard Anoro Ellipta six weeks after opening the foil tray or after you use all of the doses.

How Long Does Anoro Ellipta Take to Work?

Generally, Anoro Ellipta is absorbed in your body quickly. However, it will not work fast enough to treat acute shortness of breath. You will not see the effect unless you continuously use it on a daily basis.

What Are the Side Effects of Anoro Ellipta?

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at fda.gov/medwatch or 1-800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects of Anoro Ellipta include:

  • Sore throat or other common cold symptoms
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Muscle pain/spasm
  • Neck pain
  • Chest tightness
  • Nose or throat irritation (respiratory infection)

Severe Side Effects

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction like rash, hives, or difficulty breathing
  • Worsening breathing problems
  • Change in vision, eye pain, or irritation
  • Irregular heartbeat (palpitation)
  • Change in urination
  • Chest pain
  • Tremor or anxiety

Long-Term Side Effects

Anoro Ellipta is relatively well-tolerated and the long-term side effects are rare. If left untreated, the side effects listed above can turn into long-term issues.

Report Side Effects

Anoro Ellipta may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much Anoro Ellipta Should I Take?


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The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For inhalation dosage form (powder):

    • For maintenance treatment of COPD:

      • Adults—One inhalation once a day. Do not take more than one inhalation every 24 hours.
      • Children—Use is not recommended.

Modifications

If you have kidney problems, you can still use this medication and no dose adjustment is needed. However, if you have liver problems, you can still use this medication but may need to discuss it with your healthcare provider before starting.

There are limited data concerning Anoro Ellipta's use in children or while pregnant or breastfeeding. However, it is recommended to talk with your prescriber to weigh the benefits vs risks of using this medication in these circumstances.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of Anoro Ellipta, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take more than one dose per day. Take your next dose at your usual time. Do not take two doses at one time.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Anoro Ellipta?

Some common overdose symptoms may include but are not limited to:

  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Fast heart rate
  • Tremor
  • Nervousness
  • Worsening shortness of breath

Do not use other medicines that contain a LABA or an anticholinergic with Anoro Ellipta for any reason. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if any of your other medicines are LABA or anticholinergic medicines. Tell all of your health care providers about your medication history.

What Happens If I Overdose on Anoro Ellipta?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Anoro Ellipta, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses or stops breathing after taking Anoro Ellipta, call 911 immediately.

Precautions


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It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.

Tell your doctor if you are also using any other medicine for your COPD. Your doctor may want you to use it only during a severe COPD attack. Follow your doctor's instructions on how you should take your medicine.

This medicine should not be used if you are having a severe COPD attack, or if symptoms of a COPD attack has already started. Your doctor may prescribe another medicine for you to use in case of an acute COPD attack. If the other medicine does not work as well, tell your doctor right away.

Talk with your doctor or get medical care right away if:

  • Your symptoms do not improve after using this medicine for 1 week or if they become worse.
  • Your short-acting inhaler does not seem to work as well as it used to and you need it more often than normal (eg, you use 1 whole canister of the short-acting inhaler in 8 weeks time, or you need to use 4 or more inhalations of the short-acting inhaler for 2 or more days in a row).
  • You have a big decrease in your peak flow when measured as directed by your doctor.

This medicine should not be used together with similar inhaled medicines, such as arformoterol (Brovana®), budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort®), formoterol (Foradil®, Perforomist®), indacaterol (Onbrez®), or salmeterol (Serevent®).

This medicine may increase the risk of worsening asthma, which may lead to hospitalization, intubation, and death in patients with asthma who take this medicine without an inhaled steroid medicine. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this.

This medicine may cause paradoxical bronchospasm, which means your breathing or wheezing will get worse. Paradoxical bronchospasm may be life-threatening. Check with your doctor right away if you have coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing after using this medicine.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis and angioedema, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after using this medicine.

Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

This medicine may cause heart or blood vessel problems, including heart rhythm problems. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain or tightness, decreased urine output, dilated neck veins, extreme fatigue, irregular heartbeat, swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs, troubled breathing, or weight gain.

Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of the following symptoms: decreased urine, dry mouth, increased thirst, loss of appetite, mood changes, muscle pain or cramps, nausea or vomiting, numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips, seizures, uneven heartbeat, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic and notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests, check with your doctor.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Anoro Ellipta?

Anoro Ellipta should not be used in the treatment of asthma. The use of LABA without inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) for asthma may increase your risk of asthma-related death. However, there is no data showing an increased risk of death in people with COPD.

Anoro Ellipta is not meant to be used to relieve acute shortness of breath. It is used for the long-term treatment of COPD to prevent worsening symptoms.

What Other Medications Interact With Anoro Ellipta?

Like many other drugs, Anoro Ellipta is broken down by a protein (enzyme) family known as CYP450. Some drugs may interfere with this housekeeping protein, changing how the drug is absorbed in the body. You might experience more side effects when your body absorbs too much of the active drug. On the other hand, you might delay the treatment effect if your body is not receiving enough of the drug.

Some interactions include:

  • CYP3A4 inhibitors, such as Norvir (ritonavir), Biaxin XL (clarithromycin), and indinavir, can increase the side effects of Anoro Ellipta.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as Marplan (isocarboxazid), and tricyclic antidepressants, including amitriptyline and Silenor (doxepin), may increase the risk of heart problems.
  • Beta-blockers, such as Coreg or Coreg CR (carvedilol) and Tenormin or Tenoretic (atenolol), may block the effects of LABAs.
  • Other anticholinergics, such as Transderm Scop (scopolamine) or Cogentin (benztropine), may increase the side effects of Anoro Ellipta.
  • Other bronchodilators, such as Performist or Foradil (formoterol), may lead to overdosage if taken with Anoro Ellipta.

If you take Anoro Ellipta, talk with your healthcare provider to understand the risks vs benefits of taking any of the other medications listed above.

What Medications Are Similar?

Anoro Ellipta is a combination inhaler with a long-acting anticholinergic and a long-acting beta-adrenergic agonist (LABA). Similar combination inhalers include:

  • Bevespi Aerosphere (glycopyrrolate and formoterol)
  • Duaklir Pressair (aclidinium and formoterol)
  • Stiolto Respimat (tiotropium and olodaterol)

These medications slightly differ in the types of devices. Your healthcare provider may prescribe you a regular inhaler or a combination inhaler for your long-term COPD management, depending on your symptoms and history of worsening symptoms that may or may not cause a hospital visit. Ask your pharmacist or a healthcare provider if you have questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I travel with Anoro Ellipta?

    There is no current TSA restriction for traveling on a plane with Anoro Ellipta. It is important to get your medication refilled before traveling.

  • Do you have to rinse your mouth after using Anoro Ellipta?

    You do not need to rinse your mouth after using Anoro Ellipta, as it doesn’t have a corticosteroid. In general, you should rinse your mouth after using an inhaled corticosteroid (e.g., fluticasone) to prevent oral fungal infections such as thrush. However, this is not a concern with Anoro Ellipta.

  • Can I use Anoro Ellipta and albuterol together?

    Anoro Ellipta is used long-term to prevent COPD worsening symptoms. If you have acute breathing symptoms caused by COPD, you should use a short-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist such as albuterol (e.g., ProAir, Proventil, and Ventolin). Ask your healthcare provider how you should use your albuterol inhaler for your COPD.

  • How much does Anoro Ellipta cost if I don't have insurance?

    Anoro Ellipta is available as a brand-name drug only. If you pay cash, the cost of Anoro Ellipta may cost around $450 for one inhaler (with 60 blisters of 62.5 milligrams of umeclidinium/25 micrograms of vilanterol). However, this price can vary based on the pharmacy and location. If you are paying the full cash price, the manufacturer offers online discount coupon options.

    If you have prescription insurance, check with your insurance company for the copay cost. If the commercial insurance copay is too expensive, you may be eligible for the copay coupon card supplied by the manufacturer. However, this coupon is not valid for any government beneficiaries including those eligible for or enrolled in Medicare. Present the coupon to your pharmacist for each refill.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Anoro Ellipta?

Always follow the instructions provided by a healthcare team member when using your Anoro Ellipta inhaler. Take your medication as prescribed; do not stop taking it without consulting your healthcare provider, even if you start feeling better.

Make sure to tell your healthcare provider:

  • Your medication history and if any medication changes occur
  • If you experience worsening symptoms (call 911 if your exacerbations are severe)
  • If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding

If you have COPD, you can also make lifestyle modifications to help stay healthy and prevent the disease from worsening:

  • Exercise daily as tolerated.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Perform breathing techniques.
  • Stay up-to-date on vaccinations, such as pneumonia, flu, and COVID-19.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

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Parents look after their son, age 5, who is being treated for croup and asthma in an emergency room at a California hospital March 24, 2010.
Enlarge / Parents look after their son, age 5, who is being treated for croup and asthma in an emergency room at a California hospital March 24, 2010.

The omicron coronavirus variant caused a spike in cases of a potentially severe breathing condition in babies and toddlers, according to a hospital study recently published in the journal Pediatrics.

The study is small, focusing only on COVID-19-associated cases at one large children's hospital in Massachusetts during the pandemic. But, it provides some of the initial data on the subject and backs up anecdotes from health care providers that the latest pandemic variant causes more cases of laryngotracheobronchitis—aka croup—in younger children than earlier variants.

Generally, croup is a common upper-respiratory tract condition in which significant inflammation and swelling develop in the larynx and trachea, imperiling breathing. Some viral infection usually triggers swelling, but allergies and other irritants can also be culprits. Croup can occur at any age but mostly strikes the tiny upper airways of infants and young children, ages 3 months to 5 years.

Croup gets its name from the characteristic "croupy" cough it causes, which is sometimes described as a seal-like barking cough. Other hallmarks of the condition are a harsh, grating sound when a patient breathes in—inspiratory stridor—and respiratory distress.

Before the omicron wave, COVID-19 was associated with croup in some children, but it didn’t appear to be a common outcome of the pandemic infection. That changed during the omicron wave when healthcare providers reported they saw more COVID-19 associated croup cases in young patients.

While data remains sparse on why that might be the case, experts speculate that early variants and the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 tended to target the lower respiratory tract, leading to more severe disease in older age groups. Meanwhile, Omicron seems to have a predilection for the upper-respiratory tract, which may partly explain why it's both more transmissible and associated with relatively milder illnesses in older age groups.

But, in very young children—who have tiny airways and are still ineligible for COVID-19 vaccination—omicron appears to pose a new risk.

Croup cases

In the new study, researchers, led by pediatrician Ryan Brewster at Boston Children's Hospital, scanned the hospital's records for COVID-19 associated croup cases from March 2020 to January 15, 2022. They only found 75 cases—but 61 of the cases (81 percent) occurred during the roughly month-and-a-half time frame of the omicron wave, from December 4, 2021, to January 15, 2022.

Prior to omicron, only 14 COVID-19-associated croup cases appeared from March 2020 to the start of December 2021, usually with no more than one case in a week. Of those cases, 12 went to the emergency department, and two were hospitalized. But at the height of Massachusetts' omicron surge at the start of 2022, COVID-19-associated croup peaked at around two dozen cases in one week. Of the 61 omicron-period croup cases, 54 went to the emergency department, and seven were hospitalized.

No other COVID-19 peak was linked to a spike in croup cases. And in the cases where doctors tested children for possible coinfections, all the children tested negative, except for one who tested positive for rhinovirus (common cold).

The researchers also noted that the cases of COVID-19-associated croup, largely seen in the omicron period, appeared to skew to more severe croup than what's seen in cases caused by other viral infections. The COVID-19-associated croup caused more hospitalizations and required more re-dosing of treatments than expected, the researchers report. Four cases required intensive care, though none led to invasive ventilation or death.

For non-COVID-19-associated cases, croup is often considered mild and can sometimes be managed at home with simple treatments and over-the-counter medicines, like acetaminophen (Tylenol). Most importantly, experts recommend bringing a baby or toddler with croup into moist or cold air—a steamy bathroom or outside on a winter night (croup is often worst at night). The cold and moisture help alleviate the inflammation and loosen mucus. But, in cases where a young child is struggling to breathe, a trip to the emergency department can provide quick relief with a steroid, such as the glucocorticoid dexamethasone, to decrease inflammation.

Although the Massachusetts study is limited by its small size and single location, the authors argue that it offers compelling preliminary evidence that omicron infections cause croup, sometimes severe croup, and the study warrants further research.

"Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the pathogenicity, infectivity, and manifestations of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been dynamic and unique," they write. "Croup may represent yet another such novel presentation."

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Tommy Armitage had to undergo open-heart surgery when he was born so that a stent could be fitted to help mitigate the impacts of Tetralogy of Fallot, which affects the blood flow through the heart

Tommy Armitage in Alder Hey with his dad Anthony
Tommy Armitage in Alder Hey with his dad Anthony

A baby boy is so fragile that a common cold landed him in hospital for two weeks.

Soon after Tommy Armitage was born in December 2019 at Oldham Hospital, he had to undergo open-heart surgery to insert a stent.

The tiny mental mesh works to keep an artery from closing or narrowing in the baby's heart, Liverpool Echo reported.

Just two months later, Tommy had to go back under the knife for a more extensive surgery where they discovered that part of his heart was "knackered".

Tommy's mum, Beckie, has opened up about what it was like looking after the newborn, who has a congenital defect called Tetralogy of Fallot which affects the blood flow through the heart.







Tommy's first few months were much more complicated than anticipated
(

Image:

Beckie Armitage)

The student nurse had been told when she was 18 weeks pregnant that Tommy would need an operation in his first year which would resolve the problem for good.

"When he was born it was a lot more complicated," she said.

"They didn't know how bad it was until he was born. He was born in Oldham, then taken to St Marys in Manchester but the consultant then spoke to Alder Hey because they won't do the surgery anywhere else.

"We then went to Alder Hey to have his first surgery.

"He had his stent in January. At the time we thought it might buy him some time and he might not even need his other surgery until he's 12 months but it didn't work.

"He was kept in hospital until March when he had another surgery.

"There are four major things that are wrong with the heart and when they opened him up they found that his coronary arteries were wrong, and his pulmonary artery was knackered.

"He had to have like a pipe to replace his pulmonary artery which will now need changing every few years as he gets older.

"He'll be going back to Alder Hey each time for three or four weeks at a time for open-heart surgery."

Going forward Tommy, now two-years-old, is constantly being observed.

Even a common cold is enough to land him in hospital, as he found out in November 2021.

The 28-year-old mum-of-three said: "He picked up a cold in a waiting room when we were sat next to a child who was full of cold and a couple of days later Tommy was really ill.

"We went to the hospital because he was struggling with breathing, his heart rate was through the roof, and his oxygen saturation was really low all because there was so much pressure on his heart.

"He was admitted and monitored and they said it was because of a common cold and he just took it so badly."

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Beckie's best friend Maria Cameron, who she has known since they were both 11-years-old, is now raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charity due to their support during the long stints Tommy had in hospital at Alder Hey.

Maria is taking part in a White Collar boxing match on May 29 with all the money raised through her GoFundMe going to charity.

The 29-year-old said: "It's not nice seeing your friend going through something that you're helpless with.

"You can't do anything to help the situation, all you can do is try and be positive.

"We try and do fun things and have days out with the girls to take her mind off things.

"She's helpless as well and it's her child. It's not nice but you have to support them as much as you can."

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A baby boy had to have open-heart surgery at just three weeks old after he was born with Tetralogy of Fallot.

Tommy Armitage was born in December 2019 in Oldham Hospital before being taken to St Marys in Manchester and then rushed to Alder Hey where he underwent open-heart surgery to insert a stent [tiny mental mesh that works to keep an artery from closing or narrowing] in the baby's heart. Just two months later, Tommy had to go back under the knife for a more extensive surgery where they discovered that part of his heart was "knackered".

Tommy's mum, Beckie, has now spoken about what it was like when he was firstborn. The student nurse told the ECHO : "He was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot [a congenital defect that affects the blood flow through the heart] when I was 18 weeks pregnant. We were told he would have an operation between six and nine months and that would be it.

READ MORE:David Ungi suspected to be 'armed at all times' before Malaga arrest

"When he was born it was a lot more complicated. They didn't know how bad it was until he was born. He was born in Oldham, then taken to St Marys in Manchester but the consultant then spoke to Alder Hey because they won't do the surgery anywhere else. We then went to Alder Hey to have his first surgery.

"He had his stent in January. At the time we thought it might buy him some time and he might not even need his other surgery until he's 12 months but it didn't work.

"He was kept in hospital until March when he had another surgery. There are four major things that are wrong with the heart and when they opened him up they found that his coronary arteries were wrong, and his pulmonary artery was knackered.

"He had to have like a pipe to replace his pulmonary artery which will now need changing every few years as he gets older. He'll be going back to Alder Hey each time for three or four weeks at a time for open-heart surgery."



Anthony and Beckie Armitage with their children Tommy, two, Emily, six and Cody, nine
Anthony and Beckie Armitage with their children Tommy, two, Emily, six and Cody, nine

Going forward Tommy, now two years old, is constantly being observed, with even a common cold putting him in hospital, as he found out in November 2021. The 28-year-old mum-of-three said: "He picked up a cold in a waiting room when we were sat next to a child who was full of cold and a couple of days later Tommy was really ill.

"We went to the hospital because he was struggling with breathing, his heart rate was through the roof, and his oxygen saturation was really low all because there was so much pressure on his heart. He was admitted and monitored and they said it was because of a common cold and he just took it so badly."

Beckie's best friend Maria Cameron, who she has known since they were both 11 years old, is now raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charity due to their support during the long stints Tommy had in hospital at Alder Hey. Maria is taking part in a White Collar boxing match on May 29 with all the money raised through her GoFundMe going to charity.

The 29-year-old said: "It's not nice seeing your friend going through something that you're helpless with. You can't do anything to help the situation, all you can do is try and be positive. We try and do fun things and have days out with the girls to take her mind off things.

"She's helpless as well and it's her child. It's not nice but you have to support them as much as you can."



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At just three weeks old, a baby boy had to undergo open-heart surgery after he was born with a congenital heart defect.

Little Tommy Armitage was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, which affects normal blood flow through the heart. Tommy, who was born December 2019 in Oldham Hospital went to St Marys in Manchester and was then rushed to Alder Hey where he underwent open-heart surgery to insert a stent [tiny mental mesh that works to keep an artery from closing or narrowing] in his heart, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Sadly, just two months later Tommy had to undergo more surgery, and it was discovered that some of his heart was "knackered."

Mum Beckie, a student nurse, said: "He was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot when I was 18 weeks pregnant. We were told he would have an operation between six and nine months and that would be it.

"When he was born it was a lot more complicated. They didn't know how bad it was until he was born. He was born in Oldham, then taken to St Mary's in Manchester but the consultant then spoke to Alder Hey because they won't do the surgery anywhere else. We then went to Alder Hey to have his first surgery.

"He had his stent in January. At the time we thought it might buy him some time and he might not even need his other surgery until he's 12 months but it didn't work.

"He was kept in hospital until March when he had another surgery. There are four major things that are wrong with the heart and when they opened him up they found that his coronary arteries were wrong, and his pulmonary artery was knackered.

"He had to have like a pipe to replace his pulmonary artery which will now need changing every few years as he gets older. He'll be going back to Alder Hey each time for three or four weeks at a time for open-heart surgery."

Tommy, now two, is constantly observed, and can end up in hospital for something as simple as the common cold, as they found out in November 2021.



Anthony and Beckie Armitage with their children Tommy, two, Emily, six and Cody, nine
Anthony and Beckie Armitage with their children Tommy, two, Emily, six and Cody, nine

The 28-year-old mum-of-three said: "He picked up a cold in a waiting room when we were sat next to a child who was full of cold and a couple of days later Tommy was really ill.

"We went to the hospital because he was struggling with breathing, his heart rate was through the roof, and his oxygen saturation was really low all because there was so much pressure on his heart. He was admitted and monitored and they said it was because of a common cold and he just took it so badly."

Beckie has known her best friend Maria Cameron since they were both 11, and she is now raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charity, which allows families to stay close to hospitals if their children are spending time there. Tommy has long stays at Alder Hey.

Maria is taking part in a White Collar boxing match on May 29 with all the money raised through her GoFundMe going to charity.

The 29-year-old said: "It's not nice seeing your friend going through something that you're helpless with. You can't do anything to help the situation, all you can do is try and be positive. We try and do fun things and have days out with the girls to take her mind off things.

"She's helpless as well and it's her child. It's not nice but you have to support them as much as you can."



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(BPRW) Essential Oils that Help You Breathe Better

(Black PR Wire) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to lung illnesses that make breathing challenging. It’s estimated that more than 11 million Americans have COPD. There’s no cure, but remedies can help ease symptoms, stop complications, and slow disease advancement.

Signs of COPD include shortness of breath, needing to clear your throat often, and frequent coughing. Individuals with COPD often have emphysema and chronic bronchitis

COPD can result from long-term exposure to pollutants or toxins, including the toxins found in cigarette smoke. Genetics may also play a part in developing COPD.

Primary therapies for COPD include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Drugs that widen your airway, including nebulizers and inhalers
  • Surgery

Home treatments and holistic therapies may also function to reduce your symptoms. Some research demonstrates that essential oils can treat COPD effectively when paired with traditional medical treatment.

COPD and essential oils

Research indicates essential oils may be useful in treating upper respiratory infections.

Upper respiratory infections include the common cold, sinusitis, and pharyngitis. These are acute disorders, meaning they endure for only a short period, generally a few weeks. By distinction, COPD is a chronic, lifelong condition. Nevertheless, both conditions concern inflammation of your bronchiole tubes.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil has been used widely for centuries as a home remedy for respiratory conditions. Eucalyptus oil is also an anti-inflammatory and boosts your immune system. Using eucalyptus oil can kill destructive bacteria that worsen your COPD symptoms. It may also soothe your throat and chest and speed up healing.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is known for its calming scent and antibacterial effects.

Sweet Orange Oil

Orange oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. In a study that likened a proprietary oil blend with eucalyptus oil and orange oil, orange oil demonstrated evident capabilities to help with COPD.

Bergamot Oil

Bergamot is another component of the citrus family. It’s famous for the way it smells and its ability to soothe the nervous system. Bergamot may work well to alleviate pain and soreness caused by the coughing symptoms during a COPD flare-up.

Frankincense and Myrrh

These two widespread, ancient essential oils have a long history of treating respiratory conditions. Research has shown their anti-inflammatory effects, and they have many other effects that may increase your health and help you feel better.

But what we know about how frankincense and myrrh help, particularly with symptoms of COPD, is primarily anecdotal. When other essential oils have been demonstrated to work for COPD, these two might rank lower on your list in terms of established remedies.

When to See a Physician

Individuals with COPD are at a more increased risk for other illnesses that affect their lungs, such as the flu and pneumonia. Even the common cold can put you at risk of further damaging your lung tissue. Don’t attempt to use essential oils to self-treat a COPD flare-up that stops you from breathing or results in shortness of breath. If you notice the following symptoms, you should seek out a medical professional within 24 hours: 

  • Presence of blood in your mucus
  • Green or brown mucus
  • Extreme coughing or wheezing
  • New symptoms like severe fatigue or difficulty breathing
  • Unexplained, sudden weight gain or weight loss (more than 5 pounds in a week)
  • Forgetfulness
  • Dizziness
  • Waking up short of breath
  • Swelling in your ankles or wrists

There’s no cure for COPD, but traditional treatment can be complemented by therapy with essential oils to control its symptoms. Research indicates that some essential oils can soothe symptoms, encourage healing, and boost your immune system to help prevent flare-ups for many people with COPD. You can shop for essential oils at your local pharmacy or online.

The content and opinions expressed within this press release are those of the author(s) and/or represented companies, and are not necessarily shared by Black PR Wire. The author(s) and/or represented companies are solely responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the content of this Press release. Black PR Wire reserves the right to reject a press release if, in the view of Black PR Wire, the content of the release is unsuitable for distribution.

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  • The latest Omicron SARS-CoV-2 subvariant, which scientists have labeled BA.2.12.1, is on track to become the most virulent strain in the United States currently.

  • An increase in new cases is being linked to common symptoms related to this highly contagious variant, which may be indistinguishable from other seasonal conditions this spring.

  • Leading experts say you should take 3 upper respiratory symptoms seriously and test for COVID-19 sooner rather than later.

  • In this article, you'll learn: Common symptoms associated with the BA.2.12.1 strain; a full list of potential COVID-19 symptoms; Does the latest Omicron subvariant spread faster than others?; And how to prevent infection by the BA.2.12.1 strain.

A new subvariant of the Omicron strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to a COVID-19 diagnosis, has overtaken earlier variations (including "stealth" Omicron) to likely become the most viral variant here in the United States. According to data corralled by officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the viral subvariant — which has yet to earn an informal nickname, but scientists have labeled BA.2.12.1 — has been linked to 43% of total COVID-19 cases in the U.S., which is a major jump from the 7% it was accounting for back in early April.

Government officials are racing to collect new information on how current vaccines stack up in protecting Americans from the spread of BA.2.12.1, alongside its genetic characteristics that sets it apart from other SARS-CoV-2 viruses. This particular subvariant is the most infectious of the Omicron collection of viruses, as the third iteration of Omicron that first began increasing breakthrough COVID-19 cases late last fall.

Susan Huang, M.D., the medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at UCI Health in Orange County, indicates that current data available to healthcare providers suggest this latest Omicron subvariant is highly contagious. "This variant is about 25% more contagious than the original Omicron variant that entered the U.S. last fall — seemingly accounting for about 40% of current cases," she tells Good Housekeeping.

Dr. Huang adds that hospitalizations have remained low — and it may be because Americans simply aren't aware they're dealing with a bonafide SARS-CoV-2 infection. "It is clear that the disproportionate share of infections are those that are weathered at home," she says. "It is highly anticipated that a more targeted vaccine to current variants will be needed for the fall."

What kind of symptoms does this highly contagious variant present, you may wonder? BA.2.12.1 cases are coming at a time when spring allergies are affecting many Americans, which is why it's crucial to identify potentially misleading symptoms and consider COVID-19 testing sooner. Read on to learn more about the newest Omicron subvariant and its most common symptoms.

What are common symptoms of BA.2.12.1 COVID-19 illnesses?

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in the U.S., driven by an uptick in infections caused by the BA.2.12.1 subvariant — most of which may not be diagnosed as early as possible due to a lack of testing, explains Sachin Nagrani, M.D., medical director at care provider Heal. "There's been an increase in the rate of COVID cases in the U.S. recently, currently above 80,000 [new] cases per day," he says, adding that it's dramatically less than the 800,000+ cases per day noted at the start of 2022. "We have also crossed the grim milestone of 1 million American lives lost to COVID."

Both experts and public health officers seem to have noted that the BA.2.12.1 variant may be triggering mild breakthrough cases that don't prompt sick individuals to think about signing up for a COVID-19 test. Early infection symptoms that are commonly being noted with these particular infections may have something to do with that, explains Dr. Huang.

"Initial symptoms appear to be related to a scratchy or sore throat, often quite mild," she says. "Other early symptoms are sneezing, or a runny nose — both of these often cause infected individuals to think they are suffering from allergies or a mild cold, which they hope is not COVID."

Because these symptoms can easily be mistaken for a common cold, especially during a time when travel restrictions are being lifted, many choose not to seek out a COVID-19 test initially — until other symptoms present later down the road. This is likely how BA.2.12.1 is spreading quite rapidly; in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut alone, the viral subvariant is tied to upwards of 70% of new infections alone, per recent reports.

Does this Omicron subvariant spread faster than others?

It does indeed seem that BA.2.12.1 is more easily transmissible than earlier strains of Omicron SARS-CoV-2, as experts have established it is about 25% more transmissible than "stealth" Omicron, or about 75% more transmissible than original Omicron strains that impacted the 2021 winter holiday season.

Risk for severe illness stemming from this particular subvariant applies to those who have yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19, or those who have had an incomplete vaccination series — as well as those who have yet to receive a recommended third booster vaccine. Those who are fully up-to-date on their shots are at less risk of mild infection, Dr. Huang stresses; but they are not impervious to getting sick, even if it's a second COVID-19 sickness.

"Preliminary data from studies in Beijing and South Africa have signaled what is expected; new variants and subvariants may be more likely to cause reinfection in an individual who was previously infected with an old variant," Dr. Nagrani explains. "The vaccines will most likely remain effective with BA.2.12.1, as they were intended to prevent severe COVID and hospitalization — but not for preventing infection [outright]."

What are all potential symptoms of COVID-19?

Most reports indicate that even the latest Omicron subvariant doesn't lead to severe symptoms in breakthrough cases, nor a spike in hospitalizations or death outright.

But it's also crucial to remember that no two COVID-19 illnesses are the same; it's entirely possible that an infection triggered by BA.2.12.1 may lead to early upper respiratory symptoms that resemble a cold or reaction to allergies, or it may simply present any of the other known COVID-19 symptoms entirely (including fatigue alone!). Any combination, and varying levels of severity, of the following symptoms may be triggered by an Omicron SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Here's a full list of known, potential COVID-19 symptoms for any individual, according to the CDC:

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing

  • Fever or chills

  • Fatigue or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion, runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

How to prevent infection by the BA.2.12.1 subvariant:

The best way to prevent getting sick is to ensure you're up-to-date on your COVID vaccinations, including any recommended boosters (even if that means seeking out another vaccine brand manufacturer).

"If you are eligible for the additional booster this spring, please get it to receive additional protection against both mild and severe disease," Dr. Huang advises. "You will still be eligible for the upcoming fall booster that will have modifications to improve its effect against newer variants."

Individuals over the age of 50 — or those considered to be clinically immunocompromised — are encouraged to seek out a second booster dose of an mRNA vaccine now to keep infection risks low.

Masks are also still an important part of COVID-19 prevention; especially if you or someone you live with is considered high risk for severe complications, or are currently at risk for severe disease. "Masking is also important if you have something crucial on your schedule; a vacation, a graduation, or even a medical procedure where you need to be healthy for that important activity," Dr. Huang adds. "Be mindful of your symptoms and test early for COVID so that you can take steps to protect others from infection, especially as it relates to events like these."

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The presence of lung disease was low among infants with cystic fibrosis (CF) and was not associated with respiratory infections, yet respiratory symptoms, like cough or wheezing, may be a sign that lung disease is progressing, according to a recent study.

“Respiratory symptoms in infants with CF deserve attention as potential indicators of emerging structural lung disease,” the researchers wrote, adding that there is a “window of opportunity” in which the symptoms could be addressed to prevent lung disease from developing.

The study, “Association between early respiratory viral infections and structural lung disease in infants with cystic fibrosis,” was published in the Journal of Cystic Fibrosis

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new parents | Cystic Fibrosis News Today | image of infant sleeping

Infants with CF often begin to develop signs of lung disease at an early age. While a role for respiratory infections in contributing to lung disease in adults with CF has been established, the role of these infections early in life remains unclear.

To learn more, a research team examined the relationship between respiratory infections and signs of lung disease on CT scans among 73 infants who were evaluated at CF centers in the U.S. and Australia.

Among the infants, the mean age at enrollment was 3.1 months, and participants remained in the study for a mean follow-up of 8.7 months.

In total, 820 nasal swabs — a median of 10 per infant — were collected to test for the presence of respiratory viruses. Of them, 304 swabs (37%) were positive for at least one virus. These infections occurred in 65 (89%) of the infants, for whom the mean number of positive swabs was 4.7.

The human rhinovirus — which causes the common cold — was the most commonly observed virus, found in 85% of participants.

Most infants (60 children) had CT scans at a mean age of 13 months (just over a year). Overall, minimal signs of structural lung disease were observed.

This relative lack of observed lung disease could be due to advancements in early screening and care for CF, the researchers noted, adding that some of the infants were concurrently participating in a study testing treatment with the antibiotic azithromycin (NCT01270074), which could have influenced their lung health.

No measured parameters of lung disease were significantly correlated with ever having a respiratory virus, the number of infections, or the age at detection of an infant’s first virus.

The team did find that the percent of total airway disease was higher in infants from the U.S. than Australia, which was likely driven by a greater amount of airway wall thickening — a lung symptom that makes breathing more difficult. An older age was also associated with more airway wall thickening.

Parents and physicians often reported respiratory symptoms in the CF infants, which did not overall correlate with a positive nasal swab for infection. However, nasal swabs were collected in less than half of the times that symptoms were reported, the team noted.

An analysis of reported symptoms and signs of lung disease on CT showed a significant association between a child ever having symptoms of wheezing and a higher amount of airway wall thickening, which led to an association between wheezing and levels of total airway disease.

Cough was also associated with a greater percent of airway wall thickening and with atelectasis — a partial or total lung collapse. Lower respiratory symptoms like wheezing or altered breathing were similarly associated with atelectasis.

The researchers found that detection of rhinovirus within two weeks of respiratory symptoms was associated with CT findings, namely, airway wall thickening and bronchiectasis — a condition in which the airways become damaged, leading to inflammation and scarring.

Overall, the findings “failed to show that the detection of respiratory viruses significantly contribute to the presence of structural lung disease assessed at approximately one year of age,” but do suggest that “frequent respiratory symptoms may be an indication that structural lung disease is progressing,” the researchers wrote.

The team noted that clinicians should carefully monitor and treat respiratory symptoms to prevent further lung damage in children with CF.



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Allergic rhinitis, often called hay fever is very common in the community affecting all ages, meanwhile, the incidence is highest during the teenage years. However, it is frequently underappreciated and underdiagnosed.
Allergic rhinitis is a risk factor for the development of asthma. Moreover, the association of allergic rhinitis and asthma control is clinically relevant as it results in poor asthma control.

Worldwide, allergic rhinitis affects between 10% and 30 % of adults and 40% of children. Worldwide, sensitization (IgE antibodies) to foreign proteins in the environment is present in up to 40% of the population. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis may vary within and among countries. The highest prevalence of severe allergic rhinitis symptoms in children were observed in Africa and Latin America. This may be due to geographic differences in the types and potency of different allergens and the overall aeroallergen burden.

Causes
Allergic rhinitis occurs when the immune system mistakes a normally harmless airborne substance for a threat. The body produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE) to attack the threat, and it releases the chemical histamine. Histamine causes the symptoms.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis triggers include pollen and spores that only cause symptoms at certain times of the year.
Examples of allergic rhinitis triggers include: tree pollen in the spring, grass pollen in late spring and summer, weed pollen, especially during fall, fungi and mold spores, more common in warm weather.

Formaldehyde

Indoor exposure to formaldehyde is a major health concern, especially for school-age children who spend most of their time indoors, because at room temperature, formaldehyde evaporates from wood-based products, flooring materials, paints, fabrics, cosmetics, cleaning products, and air fresheners.

Formaldehyde irritates the nose, eyes, and throat. These irritations can happen at low levels of formaldehyde, especially in people who are especially sensitive to the odors. Indoor formaldehyde level was associated with rhinitis, severity of rhinitis, hyposmia , nasal obstruction, headache and nausea. Exposure may cause wheezing, asthma attacks and other respiratory symptoms.

Risk Factors
Some factors increase the risk of allergic rhinitis.
Genetic factors: If a close family member has hay fever or another allergy, the risk is higher.
Gender and age: Before adolescence, hay fever is more common among boys, but after adolescence, females are more affected.
Birthdate: People born during the high pollen season have a slightly higher risk of developing allergic rhinitis.
Other allergies or asthma: People with other allergies or asthma are more likely to have allergic rhinitis as well.
Second-hand smoke: Exposure to cigarette smoke during the early years of life increases the risk of allergic rhinitis.
An infant who has had fewer childhood infections may have a higher risk of autoimmune problems later in life.

Symptoms
People with allergic rhinitis generally experience symptoms after breathing in an allergy-causing substance such as pollen or dust. In the spring, the most common triggers are tree and grass pollen. In the fall, a common allergen is a ragweed or other weed pollens or outdoor mold.
When a sensitive person inhales an allergen, the body’s immune system may react with the following symptoms (listed in order of frequency): stuffy nose due to blockage or congestion, runny nose or postnasal drainage, itching, usually in the nose, mouth, eyes, or throat, red and watery eyes, puffy, swollen eyelids, sneezing and cough.
Symptoms also may be triggered by common irritants such as cigarette smoke, strong odors, such as perfume, or hair spray and fumes, cleaning solutions, pool chlorine, car exhaust and other air pollutants (i.e., ozone) and air fresheners.
Allergic rhinitis can be associated with: decreased concentration and focus, limited activities, decreased decision-making capacity, impaired hand-eye coordination, problems remembering things, irritability, sleep disorders, fatigue, missed days of work or school, more motor vehicle accidents and more school or work injuries.
Many parents of children with allergic rhinitis have said that their children are more moody and irritable during allergy season. Since children cannot always express their symptoms verbally, they may express their discomfort by acting up at school and at home. In addition, some children feel that having an allergy is a stigma that separates them from others.
It is important that the irritability or other symptoms caused by allergy symptoms are not mistaken for attention deficit disorder. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis have other causes as well, the most customary being the common cold – an example of infectious rhinitis. Most infections are relatively short-lived, with symptoms improving in three to seven days.

Occupational Rhinitis
If you develop symptoms that resemble those of allergic rhinitis and that appear or become more serious at work, you may be suffering from occupational rhinitis. Occupational rhinitis, or work-related rhinitis, is a condition in which symptoms are triggered or further aggravated by allergens in the workplace. These symptoms can include sneezing, a runny nose and watering eyes. Common triggers include cleaning products, chemical fumes, certain types of dust, and corrosive gases.

Complications of Allergic Rhinitis
If you have allergic rhinitis, there’s a risk you could develop other problems. A blocked or runny nose can cause: difficulty sleeping, drowsiness, irritability and problems concentrating. Allergic rhinitis can also make symptoms of asthma worse. The swelling in the nose can also sometimes cause other conditions. These include nasal polyps, acute or chronic sinusitis, and middle ear infections dental problems (overbite) caused by excessive breathing through the mouth, palatal abnormalities and Eustachian tube dysfunction.

Tips to Minimise Exposure to Allergens
The first approach in managing seasonal or perennial forms of allergic rhinitis should be to avoid the allergens that trigger symptoms, if possible.
Outdoor Exposure
Stay indoors as much as possible when pollen counts are at their peak, usually during the midmorning and early evening (this may vary according to plant pollen), and when wind is blowing pollens around. Avoid using window fans that can draw pollens and molds into the house. Wear a hat to prevent pollen from collecting in the hair and then sprinkling down onto the eyes and face. Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to minimize the amount of pollen getting into your eyes. Don’t hang clothing outdoors to dry; pollen may cling to towels and sheets. Try not to rub your eyes; doing so will irritate them and could make your symptoms worse.
Indoor Exposure
Reduce exposure to dust mites, especially in the bedroom. Wash your bedding frequently, using hot water.
Do not have flowers inside your home. Keep windows closed and use air conditioning in your car and home. Make sure to keep your air conditioning unit clean. Keep all surfaces, floors, and carpets as dust free as possible.
To limit exposure to mold, keep the humidity in your home low (between 30 and 50 percent) and clean your bathrooms, kitchen, and basement regularly. Use a dehumidifier, especially in the basement and in other damp, humid places, and empty and clean it often. If mold is visible, clean it with mild detergent and a 5 percent bleach solution. Clean floors with a damp rag or mop, rather than dry-dusting or sweeping. Keep away from cigarette smoke, and quit, if you are a smoker. Smear vaseline around the inside edges of your nostrils, as it helps stop pollen from getting through.
Exposure to Pets
Wash your hands immediately after petting any animals; wash your clothes after visiting friends with pets. Keep your pet out of your home as much as possible. If the pet must be inside, keep it out of your bedroom so you are not exposed to pet allergens while you sleep. Close the air ducts to your bedroom if you have forced-air or central heating or cooling. Replace carpeting with hardwood, tile, or linoleum, all of which are easier to keep dander-free.

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Spring allergy season in the Northwest is here. Plus, the common cold is circulating, and COVID-19 cases are on the rise. With so much going around, it might be difficult to discern what’s giving you the sniffles.

Symptoms of the prevalent BA2 variant of COVID-19 are more similar to allergies than previous variants, according to Dr. Mark Chan, allergy and immunology specialist with Kaiser Permanente in Portland.

“What makes it a bit more confusing now is with the new variant, symptoms are much milder, and they can masquerade as something like allergies or a cold,” Chan said. “Some of the common symptoms include runny nose, sinus pressure, headaches and, if these irritant processes get to the lung, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.”

One symptom that specifically points to allergies is itchiness, Chan said.

“Itchy, watery eyes; itchy, runny nose; and sneezing are common allergy symptoms, and that itch is usually not as prominent in COVID,” Chan said. “Fever and muscle pain, and complete congestion with loss of smell, chill and diarrhea are symptoms more indicative of COVID. While you can experience loss of taste with allergies, one of the telltale symptoms of COVID is fever, which is a unique COVID symptom outside of allergies.”

With the prevalence of at-home COVID-19 tests, Chan recommends getting tested no matter your symptoms. Additionally, wearing a mask can not only help limit virus transmission; it also can help reduce pollen exposure if you’re experiencing allergies.



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1.1821233-1314440388
Asthma is the most common chronic condition among children.
Image Credit: Istock

Dubai Health Authority (DHA) on Thursday tweeted about how to control asthma, a condition that causes a person’s airways to narrow and swell resulting in breathing trouble.

Asthma, states the American Lung Association on its website, is the most common chronic condition among children. It affects about 6.1 million kids (under the age of 18) globally.

Symptoms of asthma

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Allergies
  • Frequent coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Common cold

Triggers

If your child suffers from asthma, there may be a number of factors making things worse. DHA includes the following on its list of possible triggers:

  • Pollution
  • Fatty food
  • Dust
  • Household chemicals
  • Pets
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Bacteria and viruses

Signs your child’s asthma is under control

  • They can sleep without major symptoms.
  • They rarely need to use their reliever medicines.
  • They can do the things they want to do such as play outside without an attack.

9 tips to control asthma

DHA recommends the following preventive measures to help your child with their asthma:

  • Know their triggers
  • Help them take the prescribed medications on time
  • Teach them how to use their inhaler properly
  • Don’t smoke around them
  • Help them consume a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight
  • Create a personalised asthma action plan with their treating physician
  • Ensure they get their vaccinations including the flu and pneumococcal inoculations on time
  • Keep an eye on their stress levels
  • Treat any heartburn or oesophageal reflux they may suffer from

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According to data provided by Asthma + Lung UK, four people die from an asthma attack every day. These attacks occur when an individual's asthma symptoms get much worse. This could be due to a specific trigger, or in some cases for no obvious reason. For some people an asthma attack can build up gradually over a few days, but for others they can happen suddenly, putting them at risk of going to hospital. In order to minimise the risk of further health complications or needing to be hospitalised, the charity states that it is imperative for asthma sufferers, or those close to them, to recognise when their symptoms are getting worse, and the necessary steps to take when an attack strikes.

After experiencing his brother suffer from asthma since they were children, Dr Ranj has always been a strong advocate for asthma sufferers, gladly giving advice to individuals in the past.

And today has been no different, with the This Morning resident doctor sharing his views on the lung condition and his top five tips on what to do when someone is having an attack.

Writing on behalf of the charity, Dr Ranj said: “There are 5.4 million people with asthma in the UK, and shockingly, someone has an asthma attack every 10 seconds – with four lives lost every day.

“I know this not only as a doctor but also because my brother is one of those 5.4 million people.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Infection can cause digestive symptoms 'you may not expect'

“I believe that we need to take asthma more seriously as many of these deaths could be prevented with better knowledge and information, which is why I’m lending my support to Asthma + Lung UK this World Asthma Day to raise awareness of life-saving asthma attack advice.”

Going on to explain the crucial advice, Dr Ranj added: “First, it is important to keep calm and sit up straight. Take one puff of your reliever inhaler (usually blue) every 30-60 seconds up to 10 puffs.

“If you feel worse at any point OR you don’t feel better after 10 puffs call 999 for an ambulance.

“If the ambulance has not arrived after 10 minutes and your symptoms are not improving, take another puff on your inhaler, every 30-60 seconds, up to 10 puffs.

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“If you’re still struggling to breathe, call for an ambulance again.”

The advice and recommendations from Dr Ranj and Asthma + Lung UK come after an estimated 133,800 children in England missed out on their annual asthma review, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This put especially children at risk of suffering from an asthma attack when they returned to schools back in 2021, due to seasonal allergies and exposure to certain cleaning products.

As symptoms of asthma can be similar to over conditions, mainly Covid, it is important for parents and children of a certain age to understand when coughing or shortness of breath may be a sign of asthma and not a common cold virus or Covid.

Signs and symptoms that it is asthma includes the following:

  • Cough: A cough that won't go away or keeps coming back, night time/early morning cough - common in children, coughing after doing exercise/being active
  • Wheezing: A whistling sound when they breathe
  • Tight chest: Children may describe this as a “tummy ache” rubbing their tummy not the chest.
  • Breathlessness: Listen for fast breathing, watch to see if they're using lots of their body when they breathe - for example shrugging their shoulders up and down.

The reason individuals suffer from the above symptoms, or similar is due to the airways narrowing or swelling. Asthma can also produce extra mucus making breathing increasingly difficult.

As previously mentioned, this can be caused by specific triggers that range from airborne allergens to physical activity and certain medications.

Due to the vulnerability of individuals who have asthma, it is important they take appropriate steps to prevent attacks and maintain their health. This mainly includes using inhalers, regular visits to their GPs and taking all medication prescribed to them.

Asthma + Lung UK explains that there are multiple different types of inhaler available for asthma patients, and with each it is important to get the inhaler technique correct. If used correctly, inhalers should provide a good level of protection for asthma sufferers.

A reliever inhaler (usually blue coloured) is used for quick relief when symptoms develop. They work by relaxing muscles in the airways so individuals can breathe more easily. For those having an asthma attack, reliever inhalers can be life-saving.

In the past, Dr Ranj demonstrated the best and correct way to use these types of inhalers:

  1. Remove the cap and hold the inhaler upright
  2. Stand or sit up straight and shake the inhaler, then tilt your head back slightly and breathe out all the way
  3. Put the inhaler in your mouth and press down on the inhaler quickly to release the medicine as you start to breathe in slowly
  4. Breathe in slowly for three to five seconds. Hold your breath for 10 seconds to allow the medicine to go deeply into your lungs.
  5. Breathe out slowly
  6. If your doctor recommends, use a spacer (a hollow, plastic chamber) to filter the medicine between the inhaler and your mouth
  7. Repeat puffs as directed by your doctor.

This World Asthma Day, Dr Ranj finished by adding: “Asthma + Lung UK have created this easy-to-follow five-point plan which provides advice to everyone on how to recognise the signs of an asthma attack and when to call 999, and I would encourage your readers to visit their website for more information: www.asthmaandlung.org.uk.”



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Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Asthma is probably one of the most common illnesses we see around us or suffer from, ourselves, and yet know little to nothing about it. From sitcoms to rap lyrics, we’ve heard about asthma but doctors believe not much is done to raise awareness about this illness. On this World Asthma Day, CE speaks to doctors who seek to raise awareness on the disease. 

“Asthma is an ever-growing problem, and more so, over the past few years. There is a prevalence of about 15-20 per cent in the general population. Asthma is a simple to diagnose disease but has so many challenges in the treatment/management and public understanding of the care of this reasonably controllable disease,” says Dr Sudheer Nadimpalli, senior consultant pulmonologist, Care Hospital, HITEC City. 

Asthma is a chronic condition associated with inflammation of the airways of the lung, says Dr Viswesvaran Balasubramanian, consultant interventional pulmonology, and sleep medicine, at Yashoda Hospitals, Malakpet. He adds, “Though predominantly seen amongst children and adolescents and in those with a family history of allergy and atopy, it can affect people across all age groups and can be seen even amongst those without a significant family history of allergy,” he informs. 

Smoking, exposure to house dust mites, fungal spores, indoor and outdoor pollution can increase the chances of developing asthma in a genetically susceptible individual, the doc says, making carpenters, bakers, health care and pharmaceutical workers, among others, at higher risk of developing occupational asthma. 

Surprisingly, not many know that they have asthma until they’re sick enough to land in a hospital. It’s often ignored thinking it’s a common cold. “Typical symptoms of asthma include episodic intermittent cough and difficulty in breathing associated with wheeze and are seen more often during night time, cooler temperatures, and with the change of seasons. In addition, patients may also suffer from running nose, nasal block, headache and itchy skin rashes which are generally episodic and seen with the change of seasons, hence the tendency to brush it off as cold,” Dr Viswesvaran adds. 

The most common misconception in society is about ‘finding a cure' for asthma, says Dr Sudheer. “People should realise that this is something similar to diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure), both of which, do not have a cure,” he says, adding that one can definitely control asthma with the medication that’s currently available.

The recent Covid-19 infection has brought about an asthma-like behaviour in some patients who were never asthmatics, and this is something we might have to wait and watch. “Some of the asthmatics have had a worsening of their asthma post-Covid,” Dr Sudheer says. 

Dr E Ravinder Reddy, senior pulmonologist, Kamineni Hospital, L.B Nagar says, “The aim of treatment is to prevent symptoms and prevent emergency admissions. Now it is important to recognise different asthma triggers and to know when asthma symptoms are getting worse. It may help patients identify when to consult a doctor for better prevention. Patients need to come for regular follow up to make a proper action plan to control asthma.”

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As the world is observing asthma day every hospital, Pulmonologist and every Respiratory Medicine society is busy making preparations for celebrations. I’m sitting in my Pulmonary Medicine OPD as usual, pondering over what I can do as an individual to “Closing gaps in asthma care”- as is the theme for World Asthma Day on May 3.

A well-dressed, mother- daughter duo walk in and greet me. The daughter had consulted me 2 weeks earlier with the history and symptoms typical of asthma. I enquire about her health status. “I was improving quite well initially, but when the tablets got over the symptoms came back with double the force,” said the daughter. I quizzed her about any other further triggering factors, about the correct use of prescribed medications and about the use of inhaler that I had suggested. I’m met with stone-cold stares and uncomfortable silence. “Her father is dead against inhaler use, Doctor. He’s sure that our daughter does not suffer from Asthma. None of us in the family has it!”’ says the mother. My heart sinks. The social stigma surrounding the diagnosis of ‘Asthma’ and the use of inhaled medications are ingrained within them.

Welcome to my world. Here’s a peep into what I deal with in a majority of my patients. Let me explain.

I had met them for the first time 2 weeks back when the younger of the two had reported symptoms of cough, chest tightness and wheezing since several years. Her symptoms were not permanent but recurred on and off at will. Sometimes precipitated by something as simple as a common cold, or a viral infection such as the regular flu, at other times by changes in weather, or exam tension and even at times by laughing out loud! Her parents had preferred indigenous systems of medicine and ensured a regular supply of non-descript round white pills for a while followed by strange concoctions and powders to keep their beloved daughter’s symptoms at bay, but in vain.

For every episode of symptoms she had, they somehow found out a causative reason and ensured steam inhalation, adequate number of days away from school and lots of tender loving care, explained her mother to me. In fact, they had even dared to venture out to a general physician in their locality, who had the audacity to advise tablets and inhalers! Bah! Inhalers! Who would want their beloved child to even try an inhaler and end up addicted to them! She exclaimed loudly.

I had taken time to explain to them that the girl is not suffering from simple ‘kapha kettu’ or chest congestion, as used in local parlance, but from ‘asthma’ . I had elaborated regarding the benefits of regular inhalers and tried my level best to explain away all the myths surrounding its use. My team had spent a good 20 minutes demonstrating the correct technique of using inhaler and counselled regarding avoiding allergens and triggers. But it was obvious now that we healthcare providers would have to repeat the whole cycle again in order to make patient’s understand it all.

What is asthma?
‘Asthma’ is a chronic disease of the airways that causes them to get inflamed, swell up, get narrowed constricted and produce excessive mucus.

Symptoms of asthma
Commonly an asthmatic attack begins with slight itching of the throat followed by coughing. For some people it may begin as a chest tightness which can progress on to severe difficulty in breathing, wheezing and light- headedness. Associated symptoms maybe swelling of face or lips if it is due to an allergic reaction; or sneezing and common cold symptoms if its associated with allergic rhinitis.

Coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath occurs more commonly during night or early morning. Typically, asthmatic symptoms occur intermittently over time or within the same day.

Triggers of Asthma
There are various allergic triggers for asthma. Indoor allergens, such as dust, dust mites, mold, and pet fur, feathers of hens, chicken or birds. Outdoor allergens, such as pollens and mold, dust. Emotional stress, laughing crying or anger. Exercise-induced asthma is triggered by physical activity. Infections, such as colds, influenza (flu), or COVID-19. Sometimes certain medicines, like aspirin precipitate or worsen asthma symptoms. In urban cities, poor air quality or very cold air can worsen asthma.

Diagnosis of Asthma
A proper history and physical examination followed by x rays of chest or paranasal sinuses may be required. Pulmonary function testing like spirometry, Fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) test and blood tests may be ordered in order to arrive at a diagnosis of asthma. Rarely CT scan of chest, bronchoscopy or other such tests may be required to rule out other disease that may mimic the clinical features of asthma

Management of Asthma
Allergen avoidance, keeping the home free of dampness and mold, avoiding air pollution as much as possible, and making a healthy weight a priority for you and your children are very important on the long run. Regular immunization for children and appropriate vaccinations against influenza, Pneumococcal pneumonia and COVID-19 too are a must in asthmatics

Medications can help prevent asthma attacks and also control symptoms on long term. Inhaled forms of such medications are preferred as they are given in tiny doses and are delivered directly to target site of action ie airways and lungs. Short-acting inhaled beta2-agonists (SABAs) or anticholinergics open the airways quickly so that air can flow through them during an asthma attack.  Oral corticosteroids help by reducing the inflammation swelling in your airways caused by severe asthma symptoms . Long-term controller medications and inhalers help in controlling severity of asthma and reducing frequency of asthma attacks. Newer biological or immunotherapy medications are useful in certain subset of severe eosinophilic asthma patients. Finally, newer methods such as Bronchial thermoplasty may help in severe asthma, when other treatments are not working. In this procedure, heat is applied to the muscles along the airways through a special bronchoscope .This makes them thinner and helps reducing symptoms of asthma.

Asthma is an easily diagnosed and manageable chronic lung disease, provided proper adherence to allergen avoidance and appropriate inhaler/ medications are used as per doctor’s advice.

(Dr Padmavathy R is a Consultant Pulmonologist, Meitra Hospital, Kozhikode)

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After spending so much time at home in earlier years, many of us have rediscovered the delights of the domestic arts. Whether it’s cooking, cleaning, replacing furniture, or just caring for plants, people love a variety of home improvement tasks. There is, however, another technique to dramatically improve your living space that does not need fresh wall paint or furnishings.

An air filter for your home ensures that the air in your living space is free of bacteria and viruses that might be harmful. It also aids in the cleaning of your home and increases the effectiveness of your AC system.

Reduces Chances of Airborne Illness

Infectious droplets are discharged into the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes. Those droplets stay in the air and maybe inhaled by others, causing illness. Diseases varying from the common cold to serious illnesses are spread by airborne transmission. An air filter can help prevent the risk of a range of illnesses that are spread via the air. Thus, the experts at filterbuy.com recommend installing air filters in your home to ensure reducing the danger of several common diseases being spread through the air. Many of the viruses that cause illness may be found in the air we breathe, so air filters are important to think about.

Relieves Allergies

Around this time of year, people start to realize how bad their allergies are. Seasonal pollen, pet dander, and dust mites are all common allergens that can be triggered by the air we breathe. In-home air filters effectively filter out a wide range of contaminants that produce allergy symptoms like wheezing, watery eyes, and overall discomfort. According to several scientific studies, air filtration systems give significant relief to allergy sufferers.

Eases Asthma Symptoms

In various studies, indoor air quality has been connected to the severity of asthma symptoms. The relationship is obvious: poor indoor air quality exacerbates asthmatic respiratory problems and can even trigger a full-fledged asthma attack. Air filters not only eliminate asthma triggers but also cleanse the air you breathe. This means you’re just inhaling clean air particles, and all pollutants have been eliminated from your surroundings. According to recent studies, utilizing an air filter reduces asthma symptoms in children dramatically. A home air filtration system can dramatically enhance your everyday quality of life if you or a close one suffers from asthma.

Improves Sleep

Having trouble sleeping at night is a miserable experience, especially when you’re just trying to unwind after a hard day at work. Sleeping on a comfortable bed, limiting your coffee intake, setting the appropriate room temperature, using aromatherapy, and even getting regular morning exercise are all-natural ways to improve sleep. If none of the above methods work, consider using an air filter.

The air we breathe has a substantial impact on how well we sleep, according to scientists. It’s equally as important as the temperature and noise levels in the room! Getting adequate sleep has been related to a lower risk of heart disease and obesity, so it’s clear that good sleep is critical for overall health. If you want to obtain a better night’s sleep, think about air filters.

Reduces Carbon Dioxide Levels

You’ll need enough oxygen in your house to create a healthy breathing environment and maintain lung health. Air filters can assist you in reducing carbon dioxide levels in your home. You end up with too much carbon dioxide in your house if there isn’t enough circulation & you don’t have any indoor plants to help you manufacture the oxygen you need. Your body might receive less oxygen as a result. When this happens, you may experience weakness, headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, and other scary symptoms.

With the right air filter, you’ll be able to reduce CO2 levels in your home, resulting in less toxicity in the air. You should also allow for enough circulation by occasionally opening your windows or planting indoor plants.

Improves Your Overall Wellness

Indoor air pollution may cause a wide range of health issues, from the nose, eye, and throat irritation to respiratory difficulties, cancer, and heart disease. Prolonged exposure to unfiltered contaminants in the air has the potential to harm your health. You’re taking a critical step toward enhancing your overall health by investing in a high-quality air filter for your home.

While air filters might be pricey, they’re well worth the investment, especially when you’re in poor health or live with kids or an elderly family. By eliminating allergens, toxins, and dust particles floating in the air, air filters may substantially improve the quality of your indoor air. You’ll be able to have a happier household with them around.

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What Is Xolair?

Xolair (omalizumab) is a prescription drug injected subcutaneously (under the skin of the thigh, stomach, or outer arm if given by a caregiver). Xolair is available as a prefilled syringe and as single-dose vials.

Xolair is used to treat:

  • Moderate to severe persistent asthma caused by allergies in adults and children 6 years and older who are not controlled with inhaled corticosteroids
  • Nasal polyps in adults 18 years or older who have not responded to nasal steroids
  • Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) in adults and teenagers 12 years and older who have not responded to antihistamines. CSU is a condition where people have frequent hives on their skin, lasting six weeks or more, without a known cause.

Xolair works by blocking the action of a substance in the body that causes asthma, polyps, and hives. Xolair is in a drug class called monoclonal antibodies.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Omalizumab

Brand Name(s): Xolair

Drug Availability: Prescription

Therapeutic Classification: Monoclonal antibody (Anti-IgE antibody)

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: No

Administration Route: Subcutaneous (under the skin)

Active Ingredient: Omalizumab

Dosage Form(s): Solution, powder for solution

What Is Xolair Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xolair for:

  • Adults and children 6 years and older with moderate to severe persistent asthma not controlled with inhaled corticosteroids: This type of asthma is usually diagnosed with a skin test or reactivity to a perennial aeroallergen, which is a substance always in the air like dust mites or mold. This means that allergies are causing asthma.
  • Adults 18 years and older with nasal polyps who have not responded to nasal steroids: In this case, Xolair is used in addition to other treatments.
  • Adults and teenagers 12 years and older with chronic spontaneous urticaria, or CSU, that has not responded to antihistamines: CSU is a condition in which hives appear almost every day.

Xolair is not used to treat acute bronchospasm (narrowing of the airways that causes wheezing and shortness of breath), acute asthma attacks, other allergic conditions, or other rashes or hives.

How to Take Xolair

Before you start Xolair, make sure to read the prescription label and the information leaflet that comes with your prescription. Consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

Use Xolair exactly as directed by your healthcare provider, usually once every two or four weeks. You may receive the injection by a healthcare provider or be trained to self-administer.

For the administration of Xolair:

  • The first dose of Xolair should be given by your healthcare provider in a medical setting, under observation.
  • If your healthcare provider decides that you or your caregiver can administer Xolair prefilled syringe injections, you will be trained on how to prepare and inject the medication. Do not try to inject Xolair until you have been trained.
  • Adolescents 12 years and older may self-inject Xolair with adult supervision.
  • Children 6 to 11 years old should have Xolair injected by a caregiver.

People who have asthma or polyps will have a blood test for immunoglobulin E (IgE) before starting Xolair. This test measures immunoglobulin E antibodies and shows what the body is reacting to. The test results will help your healthcare provider determine the proper Xolair dosage and frequency. People with CSU do not require this blood test.

Do not change the dose or stop taking your other medications unless instructed by your healthcare provider. Because Xolair dose is based on weight, notify your healthcare provider if you gain or lose weight as you may need a dosage change.

Your symptoms may not improve right away. If your symptoms worsen quickly or if you feel like your asthma medications are not working, contact your healthcare provider.

Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about Xolair.

Storage

Store the prefilled syringes in the refrigerator (36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit) in the original carton. The syringe can be taken out and put back in the refrigerator if needed, but the total time out of the refrigerator cannot be more than two days. Do not use Xolair if it has been exposed to temperatures above 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not freeze Xolair, and do not use it if it has been frozen.

The vial form of Xolair is for administration by a healthcare provider in the medical setting and should be stored in the refrigerator.

Off-Label Uses

Sometimes Xolair is used off-label for indications that are not FDA approved. In some cases, healthcare providers may prescribe Xolair off-label to people with severe food allergies.

How Long Does Xolair Take to Work?

Xolair is absorbed in the body slowly, taking seven or eight days to reach its highest level.
Symptoms will not improve right away. It may take a few weeks for symptoms to improve.

What Are the Side Effects of Xolair?

Like other medications, Xolair can cause side effects. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effects you experience while taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at fda.gov/medwatch or 1-800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Xolair include:

  • Injection site reaction
  • Viral infection/common cold symptoms
  • Headache/migraine
  • Muscle/joint pain
  • General pain
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Stomach pain
  • Nosebleeds
  • Ear infection/ear pain
  • Dermatitis (skin irritation)
  • Fractures
  • Swelling of the extremities
  • Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Hair loss
  • Worm infections
  • Low platelet levels

Severe Side Effects

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Hypersensitivity reaction or anaphylaxis: Symptoms can include rash, hives, swelling around the lips, tongue, face, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms require medical attention. 
  • Eosinophilia: A higher number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell), which can cause wheezing, shortness of breath, and allergy symptoms.
  • Churg-Strauss syndrome: An inflammation of the blood vessels, which usually requires steroids for treatment.
  • Risk of cancer: Using Xolair can increase the risk of certain breast, skin, prostate, or salivary gland cancers. Talk to your healthcare provider about your risk before taking Xolair.
  • Risk of cardiovascular events: Get immediate medical care if you have chest pain or pressure or pain that spreads to the jaw or shoulder.
  • Risk of clotting: Get immediate medical care if you have sudden numbness or weakness, vision or speech difficulties, if you are coughing up blood, or have swelling or redness in an arm or leg.

Long-Term Side Effects

While many people tolerate Xolair well, long-term or delayed side effects are possible. Some long-term side effects can be mild, such as: 

  • Infections, including sinus and throat infections
  • Joint pain
  • Cough
  • Hair loss
  • Anxiety
  • Nosebleeds

Moderate long-term side effects can include: 

Severe long-term side effects may include: 

Report Side Effects

Xolair may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much Xolair Should I Take?


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The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For injection dosage form (prefilled syringe):

    • For asthma:

      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—Dose is based on IgE level and body weight, and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is usually 150 to 375 milligrams (mg) injected under your skin every 2 or 4 weeks. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated.
      • Children 6 to younger than 12 years of age—Dose is based on IgE level and body weight, and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is usually 75 to 375 mg injected under your skin every 2 or 4 weeks. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated.
      • Children younger than 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For nasal polyps:

      • Adults—Dose is based on IgE level and body weight, and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is usually 75 to 600 milligrams (mg) injected under your skin every 2 or 4 weeks. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For chronic idiopathic urticaria:

      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—150 or 300 milligrams (mg) injected under your skin every 4 weeks. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated.
      • Children younger than 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Modifications

You may need to use caution when taking Xolair if you are 65 years or older. Studies did not include many older adults, so consult your healthcare provider for guidance. There are no specific guidelines recommended for people with kidney or liver problems. People with kidney or liver conditions should consult their healthcare provider for medical advice before using Xolair.

People who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, should consult their healthcare provider before using Xolair.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of Xolair, call your healthcare provider as soon as possible for instructions.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Xolair?

No reports of toxicities related to Xolair intravenous dosing have been established.

What Happens If I Overdose on Xolair?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Xolair, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Xolair, call 911 immediately.

Precautions


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It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it. Blood tests and other exams may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

If you stop receiving omalizumab injections, your symptoms can be expected to return.

You may not see immediate improvement in your asthma after omalizumab treatment begins. It takes time for the medicine to work. It is important to continue your omalizumab injections until your doctor tells you otherwise.

This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Anaphylaxis may occur right away or up to 4 days after receiving this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash, cough, chest tightness, trouble breathing, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, rapid or weak heartbeat, anxiety, flushing, itching, hives, feeling warm, swelling of the throat or tongue, throat tightness, hoarseness, or trouble swallowing after receiving this medicine.

A rare but serious condition called eosinophilia (increased white blood cells in the body) may occur while you are receiving this medicine. A condition called vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) may also be present. Eosinophilia can be serious and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have worsening lung symptoms, rash or bruising of the skin, fever, chest pain, or burning, tingling, or numbness in the hands and feet after receiving this medicine.

Your doctor will ask you or your child to remain at the healthcare facility or clinic for at least 2 hours after each injection to watch for immediate side effects that can be serious.

Some patients who are receiving this medicine may have fever, rash, or muscle or joint pain. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have any of these symptoms.

Using this medicine may increase your risk of getting certain cancers or infections. Talk to your doctor if you or your child have concerns about this risk.

The needle cap of the prefilled syringe contains dry natural rubber (a derivative of latex), which may cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to latex. Tell your doctor if you have a latex allergy before receiving this medicine.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn't Take Xolair?

Xolair is not appropriate for everyone. You should not take this medication if you are allergic to omalizumab or any of the inactive ingredients in Xolair. 

Other people who should not take Xolair include:

  • People who are experiencing bronchospasm (narrowing of the airways, causing symptoms of wheezing and shortness of breath)
  • People in status asthmaticus (a medical emergency due to a severe asthma attack that does not respond to initial treatments)

Xolair may be prescribed with caution in some people, only if the healthcare provider determines it is safe. This includes:

  • People with a history of anaphylaxis
  • People who are at risk for worm infection (due to living in or traveling to certain areas where worm infections are common)

What Other Medications May Interact With Xolair?

Xolair has not been studied in drug interaction studies. Therefore, no significant interactions are known with other drugs.

What Medications Are Similar?

Xolair is a monoclonal antibody used for allergic asthma, polyps, or hives. Other monoclonal antibodies include:

  • Cinqair (reslizumab) is given as an intravenous (into a vein) infusion. It is used in addition to other treatments to treat severe eosinophilic asthma in adults. Eosinophilic asthma is a type of severe asthma caused by high levels of a type of white blood cell called eosinophils.
  • Dupixent (dupilumab) is given by subcutaneous injection. It can be used alone or with topical steroids to treat adults and children ages 6 years and older with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis not controlled with topical medications. Dupixent can also be used with other medications to treat adults and children 6 years and older with moderate to severe eosinophilic asthma or with asthma that requires oral steroids (such as oral prednisone tablets). It can also be used, along with other medications, in adults with chronic rhinosinusitis (inflammation of the nasal passages and sinuses), with nasal polyps that are not controlled.
  • Fasenra (benralizumab) is given by subcutaneous injection. It is used in combination with other medicines in adults and adolescents 12 years and older with severe eosinophilic asthma.
  • Nucala (mepolizumab) is given by subcutaneous injection. It is used with other medications in adults and children 6 years and older with severe eosinophilic asthma. Nucala can also be used with other medications in adults with chronic rhinosinusitis, with nasal polyps, that is not controlled with nasal steroids. It can also be used to treat a condition in adults called eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA), a very rare form of blood vessel inflammation that can cause organ damage if not treated. Nucala can also be used in adults and adolescents 12 years and older who have had hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) for six months or more. HES is a group of rare blood disorders caused by high levels of eosinophils and can lead to organ damage.

People who take Xolair for asthma also take other medications for asthma. A rescue inhaler, also known as a short-acting beta-agonist, is used for acute asthma exacerbations or before exercise in people with exercise-induced bronchospasm. Examples of rescue inhalers are:

  • ProAir HFA (albuterol)
  • Proventil HFA (albuterol)
  • Ventolin HFA (albuterol)
  • Xopenex HFA (levalbuterol)

Long-acting beta-agonists, also called LABAs, should never be taken alone. A LABA may increase the risk of death if it is not taken with a steroid. Therefore, a LABA should always be taken with an inhaled steroid. This can be done either as two individual separate products or as a combination product. An example of a LABA is Serevent (salmeterol). 

An inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) can be taken alone or with a LABA. Examples of inhaled steroids are:

  • Alvesco (ciclesonide)
  • Asmanex (mometasone)
  • Flovent HFA (fluticasone)
  • Pulmicort Flexhaler (budesonide)
  • Qvar RediHaler (beclomethasone)

There are some combination inhaled drugs that contain both a steroid and a LABA. Some examples of steroid/LABA combination inhalers include:

  • Advair Diskus (fluticasone and salmeterol)
  • Breo (fluticasone and vilanterol)
  • Dulera (mometasone and formoterol)
  • Symbicort (budesonide and formoterol)

Trelegy Ellipta contains three drugs: fluticasone, which is a steroid; umeclidinium, which is an anticholinergic drug; and vilanterol, which is a LABA. 

There are also other drugs that can be prescribed to control asthma symptoms, for example, oral medications like Singulair (montelukast) or oral steroids, such as prednisone. 

This list is a list of drugs also prescribed for asthma. It is NOT a list of drugs recommended to take with Xolair. Ask your pharmacist or a healthcare provider if you have questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Xolair used for?

    Xolair is a monoclonal antibody that can be used in:

    • Adults and children 6 years and older who have moderate to severe persistent allergic asthma and are not controlled with inhaled steroids
    • Adults with nasal polyps who have not responded to nasal steroids
    • Adults and teenagers 12 years and older who have chronic spontaneous urticaria that has not responded to antihistamines

  • How does Xolair work?

    Xolair works by blocking the action of a substance in the body that can cause asthma, polyps, and hives.

  • What drugs should not be taken with Xolair?

    No drug interaction studies have been done with Xolair, and no significant interactions are known.

  • How long does it take for Xolair to work?

    Xolair takes seven or eight days to reach its highest level in the body. It may take several weeks for symptoms to improve.

  • What are the side effects of Xolair?

    Common side effects include injection site reaction, cough and cold symptoms, headache, muscle and joint pain, tiredness, dizziness, nausea, itching, stomach pain, nosebleed, ear infection, skin irritation, fractures, fever, and anxiety. Serious side effects may occur as well. Symptoms, such as hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, indicate a severe allergic reaction and require emergency attention.

  • How do I stop taking Xolair?

    Your healthcare provider will tell you how long to take Xolair.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Xolair?

Before you take Xolair, discuss your medical history and all medication you take with your healthcare provider. When taking Xolair, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for use. Read the information leaflet that comes with your prescription. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions. Be sure to get all of the bloodwork that your healthcare provider orders before and during treatment. 

Before self-injecting Xolair, or before a caregiver injects it, be sure that you or your caregiver have been fully trained. It can feel intimidating to give yourself an injection, but after several times, you will feel more comfortable, and you will begin to feel more confident in your ability to inject yourself. 

Your healthcare provider will advise you if you need to change your other medications. Do not stop taking your steroid medications unless instructed by your healthcare provider.

Xolair does not treat acute bronchospasm or acute exacerbation of asthma. Always carry a fast-acting rescue inhaler. It can be helpful to have two rescue inhalers, so you can keep one inhaler at home and one inhaler at work or school. Check the expiration date and how many puffs are remaining on a regular basis. Call in refills to the pharmacy several days ahead to ensure you never run out.  

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

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