Asthma is a long-term disease of the lungs. It inflamed and narrowed airways that cause difficulty in breathing. Common symptoms of asthma include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Today, many medications are proven effective to counter asthma attacks. One of which is an inhaler. It is a device used to deliver medication into the body through the lungs. If it is effective for you to avoid or to cure asthma attacks, the question is, are inhalers still safe during pregnancy?
Asthma and pregnancy
What are the chances of asthma attacks during pregnancy? Experts say it can be 1:3. One third can see no changes when they get pregnant. Another third will improve while another third can feel that the symptoms worsen.
What are the possible complications of asthma? Medical experts state that uncontrolled asthma can cause high blood pressure that may lead to preeclampsia, a serious condition that can put you and your baby at risk. Asthma attacks can also cut the oxygen supply on the mother’s blood and since the fetus relies on the mother’s supply of oxygen, it can lead to premature birth or low birth weight on infants.
With the risks that uncontrolled asthma may bring, medical experts advise to avoid asthma triggers and manage attacks so as to avoid complications.
On the positive side, with proper precautions and with constant consultations with your doctors, it is safe for asthmatic women to get pregnant.
Inhalers during pregnancy
Aside from oral medications, one common treatment used to manage asthma is by using inhalers. But are inhalers still safe even during pregnancy?
Pregnant women are being warned that they should always be careful and watchful with what they put in their bodies since it may affect the baby in her womb. That also includes medications and treatment. Consult your medical provider to make sure that the inhalers that you are using are safe also for your baby.
Types of inhalers and recommendations
Preventer inhalers – these help to control inflammation on the lungs but don’t work immediately to help you breathe. It works overtime to prevent and improve asthma symptoms. Recommended preventer inhalers that are safe for pregnant women include corticosteroids, such as beclometasone, budesonide, fluticasone, and mometasone. For severe asthma, you can use the anti-allergy hormones, such as sodium cromoglicate and nedocromil sodium.
Reliever inhalers – stop asthma quickly by opening the airways making it easier to breathe. These are used when symptoms of an attack are already present and are known as bronchodilators. Salbutamol is the most common short-acting bronchodilator and is proven safe to take during pregnancy.
These medicines can stop asthma attacks quickly by relaxing and opening your airways, making breathing easier. This is the type of inhaler you use when you get symptoms, also known as bronchodilators. Salbutamol is the most commonly prescribed bronchodilator. This is safe to use during pregnancy.
Combination inhalers – a combination of both which is also safe during pregnancy. The reliever medicine used in combination inhalers doesn’t give immediate relief during an emergency. You might still be needing a blue reliever inhaler once the symptoms of an attack are present unless your doctor tells otherwise.
Medications in inhalers like albuterol, levalbuterol, pirbuterol, and ipratropium can also be used. These are considered safe asthma inhalers during pregnancy.
A final note
Experts approved that inhalers are safe to manage asthma attacks during pregnancy. With consultation with your medical provider, he will review your medicines and you will be guided with the proper administering of these medications. But as always, prevention is always better than cure. Stay away from asthma triggers such as allergens, irritants in the air, smoke, fumes, and strong odors like perfumes. Proper management of asthma can lead not only to a safer pregnancy but most of all, a healthy baby.