Review Articles

Approach to asthma in adults

Natalie Schellack, A. Truter, P. N. Ntuli
South African Family Practice | Vol 57, No 4 : July/August| a4247 | DOI: | ©
Submitted: 13 March 2015 | Published: 01 July 2015

About the author(s)

Natalie Schellack, BCur, BPharm, PhD(Pharmacy), Associate Professor, South Africa
A. Truter, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Sciences Hospital, South Africa
P. N. Ntuli, Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital, South Africa

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Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes hyper-responsiveness of the bronchial tree, with reversible airflow obstruction. The condition places a significant burden on our healthcare system. Chronic asthma can cause remodelling of the airway. Patients suffering from asthma should be aware of its signs and symptoms, as well as factors that can precipitate an asthmatic attack. Asthma is mostly classified as either acute or chronic. The diagnosis of asthma is based on identification of both a characteristic pattern of respiratory symptoms and variable expiratory airflow limitation. Treatment is based on how the patient presents, and includes bronchodilators, inhaled corticosteroids and mast cell stabilisers. This article provides an overview of the diagnosis, characterisation and treatment of asthma


asthma; bronchodilator; inhaled corticosteroid; β2 agonist; peak expiratory flow; spirometry; SABA; LABA


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