Bronchitis is a medical condition that is characterized by the inflammation of bronchial tubes. Scroll down to find out info on how the use of oral or inhaled bronchitis medication can help in alleviating the symptoms of bronchitis.
Bronchitis is a respiratory disorder wherein the bronchial tubes that carry air to the lungs get inflamed. Use of oral or inhaled medications is often recommended so as to alleviate the symptoms of bronchitis. Take a look at some information on the types of bronchitis medication along with the effect of these drugs on the inflamed bronchial tubes.
What Causes Bronchitis?
The air that we breathe, passes through the nasal passages, pharynx and larynx, before it travels down to the windpipe. Windpipe, which is also referred to as trachea, branches into two air passages that are known as the left bronchus and right bronchus. The left bronchus and right bronchus deliver the air into the left lung and the right lung, respectively. Within the lungs, these bronchial tubes branch out into microscopic airways that are called bronchioles. The bronchioles further divide into various branches.
At the end of these branches, lie clusters of tiny alveolar sacs that get filled with the inhaled air. Oxygen from the inhaled air passes from these sacs into the thin-walled capillaries that surround these sacs. The oxygenated blood is then carried to the larger blood vessels, while carbon dioxide is forced out of the body through the airways. At times, inhalation of dust, smoke or other environmental pollutants may cause the bronchial tubes to get inflamed or swell up. As you already know, this condition is medically referred to as bronchitis. Bacteria, viruses or other pathogens may also enter the airways by way of airborne respiratory secretions.
Medication for Bronchitis
When it comes to the treatment of bronchitis, drug therapy emerges as one of the most effective treatment options. Though one can buy bronchitis medication over the counter, it’s always better to use drugs that have been prescribed by the doctor. This way, one can lower the risk of side effects that may be associated with an overdose or any adverse drug interactions. Once a thorough medical checkup has been conducted, and the patient’s medical history has been studied, a combination of drugs may be prescribed by the doctor so as to alleviate the symptoms of bronchitis.
When it comes to medication choices, the class of drugs that may be prescribed would depend on the type of bronchitis and the severity of the symptoms of bronchitis. If the inflammation is caused due to a pathogenic infection, there is a need to identify the causal organism. The treatment approach usually is symptomatic. Given below are the types of drugs that may be prescribed.
Since bronchitis is signified by inflammation of the bronchial tubes, doctors may recommend the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If the symptoms are severe, doctors may even prescribe corticosteroids for bringing down the inflammation. The pain or swelling that is characteristic of inflamed bronchi, can be successfully managed with the help of corticosteroids.
These may be taken orally, or one may use inhalers for bronchitis. Prednisone is one such corticosteroid that may be prescribed. Beclomethasone is another inhaled corticosteroid that may be recommended for a patient suffering from asthma related symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath or labored breathing.
Heavy smokers or people who may be exposed to chemical fumes or other irritants are highly susceptible to chronic bronchitis. Since excessive production of mucus or phlegm due to chronic bronchitis may provide the bacteria the ideal conditions needed for their growth, antibiotics are often prescribed for those suffering from chronic bronchitis. Antibiotics help in destroying bacteria and also control the growth of bacteria. Azithromycin, amoxicillin or erythromycin are some of the antibiotics that may be prescribed.
Bronchodilators refer to drugs that relax and dilate the airways, and allow the air to pass through the bronchi to the lungs. The bronchodilator medication may be converted into mist through a nebulizer. Albuterol, levalbuterol and ipratropium bromide are some of the nebulizer drugs that may be used for the treatment of bronchitis, asthma or other respiratory conditions that may cause shortness of breath.
Besides the use of aforementioned class of drugs, expectorants may also be prescribed so as to clear congestion caused by excessive production of mucus. Use of cough suppressants may be recommended, if one is in discomfort due to violent coughing. Since bronchitis medication may sometimes cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, sore mouth, upset stomach, diarrhea or dizziness, one must consult a doctor on experiencing any of these side effects.
One must also follow self care measures and make sure that the surroundings are clean and free of irritants. Drinking fluids may help in making up for the loss of fluids owing to excessive production of mucus. Smoking makes one highly susceptible to respiratory problems, and therefore, one must refrain from smoking.