Is your asthma preventing you from participating in sports and other activities? Are your symptoms causing you to miss days of work or school? Do you use your rescue inhaler a few times a week? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may want to talk to talk your doctor about trying one of the new once-a-day asthma medications. These pills are easy to take and also can be a very effective way to manage your asthma and keep your symptoms at bay.

A Once-a-Day Strategy

Today, getting your asthma in check can be easier than ever, thanks to advances in medicine that have been it possible to get the treatment you need in a once-a-day pill. Here's how they work: When you have an asthma attack, your body produces a substance called leukotriene, which is what is responsible for causing your airways to swell and fill with mucus, making it difficult to breathe air in and out.  But anti- leukotriene drugs, or leukotriene modifiers, can be an effective approach to preventing this reaction. Better yet, they can also help to prevent other allergy symptoms.

The Options

There are currently several medications on the market that fit the bill and better yet, they offer results that last 24-hours, making it possible to take just one pill a day.
These include:

  • Singulair ®
  • Accolate
  • Zyflo ®

Such once-a-day asthma pills are usually by prescription only and they are appropriate for many adults and some children.

How to Take

These medications are generally taken at the same time every day (often in the evening), and they must be taken regardless of whether you are experiencing symptoms. This is important, since you need to keep taking the drug to receive the benefits on an ongoing basis.

Reported side effects of this type of medicine are generally mild and can include a sore throat, headache and nausea.  
Before starting an anti-leukotriene drug, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other medications you take, since the once-a-day allergy pill could interact with some drugs or make them less effective.

Further, it is important to remember that anti-leukotriene medications do not actually cure asthma, just help to keep the symptoms at bay. This is an important distinction, since it means that many users will also need to still use their asthma inhalers to treat occasional flare-ups.

A Promising Choice

Many medical experts believe that asthma medication you take once a day offer great promise for adults and children and can help to manage their conditions in the most efficient way. Several recent studies have also found that this type of treatment option, when part of your broader asthma management plan, can be an effective replacement for other anti-inflammatory medications that must be taken more often and can cause a wider range of side effects.