Updated 27/7/2021

NEW TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR MILD ASTHMA

There has been an update to the way we approach treating mild asthma in Australia. We want to ensure you’re across the update so you can have an informed conversation with your treating medical professional about treatment options that may work for you. Here’s our new guide on everything you need to know:

download guide
Download our treatment options guide

There are now three options to manage symptoms in mild asthma for adults and adolescents in Australia.

  1. Regular low-dose preventer plus blue/grey reliever puffer as-needed
  2. Dual purpose reliever (budesonide/formoterol as-needed)
  3. Blue/grey reliever puffer as-needed

The latest treatment option for mild asthma introduces the dual purpose reliever (budesonide/formoterol as-needed). This medication relieves symptoms and reduces risk of serious flare-ups by treating inflamed airways in mild asthma.

This treatment is available as DuoResp Spiromax 200/6, Symbicort Rapihaler 100/3 and Symbicort Turbuhaler 200/6, reflected in the updated Australian Asthma Handbook (National Asthma Council Australia, 2020).

HOW DOES A DUAL PURPOSE RELIEVER WORK?

What is a dual purpose reliever

The dual purpose reliever (budesonide/formoterol) medication contains two components:

  • One which opens the airways (formoterol)
  • One which aims to treat the inflammation that causes asthma symptoms (budesonide).

The combination of these two ingredients in the single inhaler, when used as needed, relieves symptoms and reduces your risk of experiencing serious asthma flare-ups (attacks).

It’s not a new medication but actually a new way of using a medication that’s been available in Australia for some time.

You can read more about it in our guide

USING DUAL PURPOSE RELIEVER (BUDESONIDE/FORMOTEROL) FOR ASTHMA FIRST AID

Asthma First Aid
Asthma First aid with Symbicort Rapihaler 100/3
  1. Sit the person upright
    • Be calm and reassuring
    • Do not leave them alone
  2. Give 2 puffs through a spacer
    • Shake Rapihaler
    • Put 1 puff into spacer
    • take 4 breaths from spacer
    • repeat process for 2nd puff
  3. Wait a few minutes
    • If there is no improvement give 2 more puffs through spacer
  4. If there is still no improvement, Dial triple zero (000)
    • Give 1 inhalation every 4 minutes up to a max of 8 more while waiting for ambulance

*Do not use more than 12 puffs on a single occasion or more than 24 puffs in any day.

Asthma First Aid
Asthma First aid with
Symbicort Turbuhaler 200/6
  1. Sit the person upright
    • Be calm and reassuring
    • Do not leave them alone
  2. Give 1 inhalation
    • Open and twist around and back to load
    • Seal lips around mouthpiece
    • Breathe in strongly and deeply
    • Hold breath for 5 seconds
  3. Wait a few minutes
    • If there is no improvement give 1 more inhalation
  4. If there is still no improvement, Dial triple zero (000)
    • Give 1 inhalation every 4 minutes up to a max of 4 more while waiting for ambulance

*Do not use more than 6 inhalations on a single occasion or more than 12 inhalations in any day.

Asthma First Aid
Asthma First aid with
DuoResp Spiromax 200/6
  1. Sit the person upright
    • Be calm and reassuring
    • Do not leave them alone
  2. Give 1 inhalation
    • Open and click to load
    • Seal lips around mouthpiece
    • Breathe in strongly and deeply
    • Hold breath for 5 seconds
  3. Wait a few minutes
    • If there is no improvement give 1 more inhalation
  4. If there is still no improvement, Dial triple zero (000)
    • Give 1 inhalation every 4 minutes up to a max of 4 more while waiting for ambulance

*Do not use more than 6 inhalations on a single occasion or more than 12 inhalations in any day.

More information

It is important to recognise and treat your asthma symptoms, even mild symptoms. If you are finding yourself using your dual purpose reliever often (most days per week), it’s important you see your doctor for an asthma review.

Even if you feel you know how to manage your symptoms and can tolerate them, you may be accepting unnecessary risk. An asthma diagnosis and discussion with your doctor around your individual circumstances are highly recommended to decide on the best treatment for you.

If you have more questions about your asthma management, we invite you to call one of our Asthma Educators on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462).

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

If you have any questions about this new treatment option or any other aspects of your asthma wellbeing, our Asthma Educators would welcome your call on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462).

Asthma Australia does not make specific treatment recommendations. Treatment decisions need to be discussed with your doctor. We aim simply to give you the information you need to have those discussions.