April 01, 2005
ABSTRACT: Education can help improve compliance with inhaled corticosteroid therapy or correct faulty metered-dose inhaler (MDI) technique. Options for patients with poor MDI technique include use of a spacer or an alternative device, such as a nebulizer or a dry powder inhaler. If therapy is ineffective, consider alternative conditions that mimic asthma, especially vocal cord dysfunction and upper airway obstruction. Treatment of comorbid conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease or rhinosinusitis, may improve control. In refractory asthma, it is crucial to identify allergic triggers and reduce exposure to allergens. If another medication needs to be added to the inhaled corticosteroid, consider a long- acting b-agonist, leukotriene modifier, or the recombinant monoclonal anti-IgE antibody omalizumab.