A medication challenge is performed when it is believed that a patient is allergic to a certain medication and is the cause of an allergy or skin related problem. The test is always performed by the direct supervision of our board-certified allergist/immunologist. A very small amount of the allergen is inhaled or ingested orally while the patient is monitored closely for any reactions. The dose is usually increased with toleration over a period of several hours. Examples of medication challenges are Tylenol, Advil, Penicillin, and local anesthesia. This is helpful in determining if a patient is truly allergic to a specific medication or just has intolerance to it.
Asthma can be managed well with the right regimen of medications and treatment prescribed by your board-certified allergist or immunologist.
- Corticosteroids are an effective medication that can be administered in a pill or inhaler form, depending of the severity of asthma. Examples include Qvar, Pulmicort flexhaler, Symbicort, Advair diskus, Flovent, Asminex, Dulera, and Alvesco.
- Bronchodilators are known as rescue inhalers, which are used to open up the bronchial tubes allowing more air to flow through. Examples include ProAir.
- Anti-leukotriene’s help to combat leukotrienes that are responsible for airway inflammation that occurs in the body. Singulair is a popular anti-leukotriene used to treat asthma.
- Xolair is a treatment option only for patients with high IgE levels and moderate to severe asthma. Xolair comes in the form of an infection, similar to allergy injections, that bind to IgE and inactivates them, reducing asthma symptoms. Xolair helps to decrease asthma attacks in patients who still have asthma symptoms even with the use of inhaled steroids.
- Immunotherapy injections (IT), also known as allergy shots, can be a very helpful treatment for asthma depending on the cause and triggers to your asthma. IT can help to decrease your sensitivity to environmental allergens which will help to decrease triggers for your asthma and asthma attacks.