Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Severe Asthma Attacks Action Plan

Girl suffering asthma attack reaching inhaler

For severe asthma attacks , or where the breathing and PEFR (Peak Expiratory Flow Rate) are getting worse rather than better, the steroids will need to be taken by orally (by mouth). You will need to begin a short course of oral steroids or if you take oral steroids on a regular basis, the dose will need to be increased. 
Oral steroids are powerful medications with multiple possible side effects; their use should be undertaken in consultation with your doctor.

Normally, if you have had a short course of oral steroids in the past, your doctor may provide you with a prescription for prednisone or Medrol® to have at home for use in an asthmatic crisis such as described here. Medical professionals may prescribe oral steroids for use as part of your Action Plan for asthma attacks.

For Asthma Attacks:

Taking oral steroids in a timely manner is often the most effective means to avoid deterioration to the point of needing hospitalization for severe asthma attacks. If home measures are not working, you should go to your nearest emergency asthma center or acute care facility for assistance. 

Have a plan as to where you will go in an asthma crisis and how you will get there; it would be good to share this plan with your family or friends,as they will be an help if you need in an emergency situation.

Finally a word of caution: an “action plan” is not meant to make patients to be their own doctors nor to encourage you to stay home if your asthma needs emergency department care. You do not have to deal with asthma attacks by yourself,and at anytime consult your asthma medical professionals.