In this MD Newsline exclusive interview with allergist and immunologist Dr. Purvi Parikh, we discuss treatment strategies for patients with severe asthma and how to avoid asthma exacerbations and emergency visits for asthma.
What is your treatment strategy for patients with severe asthma?
Dr. Purvi Parikh:
“Patients with severe asthma often need medications to keep them from having exacerbations and to keep them from relying on oral steroids and injectable steroids, which can be dangerous. Luckily now there’s a huge variety of biologic medications that can target the type of asthma that you have, whether it be allergic asthma or eosinophilic asthma, and that can help better control severe asthma, combined with preventive medicines.
Also, identifying their triggers is helpful because if they are very allergic, we can target those allergies and those triggers, also minimizing their need for rescue medications for exacerbations.”
How can we equip patients to avoid asthma exacerbations and emergency visits for asthma?
Dr. Purvi Parikh:
“The best way to equip patients to avoid asthma exacerbations and emergency visits [for asthma] is to make sure that they’re on the correct preventive medications and taking the correct preventive measures. That includes being on appropriate controller medications, such as inhalers. In some cases, they may need injectable medications, known as biologics, and to make sure that they’re taking these [medications] regularly and don’t run out of them.
Also, to empower patients so they can identify what their triggers are, and minimize those triggers in their environment and their lifestyle so that they set themselves up for success and are less likely to have exacerbations.”
Responses have been condensed and lightly edited.