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Treatment of exercise induced asthma

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • For most patients, exercise-induced asthma is an expression of poorly controlled asthma and regular treatment including inhaled corticosteroids should be reviewed
  • If exercise is a specific problem in patients taking inhaled corticosteroids who are otherwise well-controlled, consider adding one of the following therapies:
    • leukotriene receptor antagonists
    • long-acting beta2 agonists
    • sodium cromoglicate or nedocromil sodium
    • theophyllines
  • Immediately prior to exercise, inhaled short-acting beta2 agonists are the drug of choice.

Notes:

  • a systematic review (2) revealed that inhaled corticosteroids used for 4 weeks or more before exercise testing significantly attenuated exercise-induced bronchoconstriction

Reference:

  1. British Thoracic Society (BTS)/Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) 2019. British Guideline on the Management of Asthma. A national clinical guideline.
  2. Koh MS et al. Inhaled corticosteroids compared to placebo for prevention of exercise induced bronchoconstriction. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Jul 18;(3):CD002739.

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