An Asthma Action Plan is a plan created by your doctor to help asthmatic patients like you to control your asthma effectively. Each plan may differ from patient to patient depending on severity and condition of the disease. The plan may get reviewed and modified from time to time depending on how well you manage to control your asthma. It is extremely useful because patients who use a plan is up to 4 times less likely to be admitted to hospital.

Click below to watch a video on “How does Asthma work”

What is in the plan?

Each Asthma Action Plan should give you the following information:

  • The name of the medicines and how & when to take them
  • How much of medication to take in different circumstances
  • When to take rescue medication
  • How to use and chart your peak flow reading
  • How to recognize signs if your asthma is getting worse
  • What to do during an asthma attack

Asthma medication is divided into either:

  • PREVENTER inhaler (to reduce airway inflammation)
  • RELIEVER inhaler (to open up the airways in the lung)

This guide shows how asthma medication may be used in different situations and in different individuals. Do consult your doctor to about your own situation.

Situation 1: When your child is well

  • Has good breathing
  • Has no cough
  • Has no wheezing
  • Can play and do daily activities without any restriction
  • Peak flow reading is more than 80% of personal best

ACTION PLAN: Give preventer medicine as prescribed by doctor

Situation 2: When your child is not well (with the following symptoms)

  • Cough
  • Wheeze
  • Chest tightness
  • Waking up at night due to coughing
  • Peak flow reading is reduced to 50-80% of personal best

ACTION PLAN: Continue giving preventer medicine as prescribed by doctor. Take reliever medication once and then as when required. Your child may need up to 4 hourly medication depending on whether there is improvement. If symptoms improve, return to Situation 1.

Situation 3: When your child gets worse

  • The symptoms are not relieved DESPITE getting the treatment in Situation 2
  • The cough and wheeze get worse
  • Difficulty in breathing with flaring around the nostrils
  • The reliever medications are needed more frequently than every 4 hours
  • Peak flow reading is less than 50% of personal best

ACTION PLAN: Continue giving preventer medicine as prescribed by doctor. Take reliever medication every 4 hours and an oral dose of Prednisolone as prescribed by doctor. See your doctor as soon as possible.

Situation 4: What to do during an emergency

Give 4-6 puffs of reliever medication immediately and every 20 minutes up to a maximum dose of 12 puffs. Go IMMEDIATELY to the emergency department of the nearest hospital (Also read more on “What to do during an asthma attack” here).

Reference: asthmamalaysia.org, asthma.org.uk cdc.gov

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