Alternatives to Prednisone for Severe Asthma

Severe asthma is a disease characterized by wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. Prednisone is typically used to treat severe asthma attacks; however, there are other alternative long-term medicines available to maintain health in people with severe asthma.

The Facts

The American Lung Association (ALA) classifies prednisone (corticosteroid) as the most potent anti-inflammatory used to decrease inflammation in the lungs.


The ALA says two types of medicines are used to treat severe asthma. Bronchodilators help stop asthma attacks after they have started and can help prevent attacks. Anti-inflammatories are most effective for people with severe asthma; they help control airway inflammation and prevent asthma attacks.


Alternative anti-inflammatory medicines available for people with severe asthma are cromolyn and nedocromil.


For people with severe asthma, controlling the symptoms before they become an attack is mportant. Anti-inflammatory drugs have fewer long-term side effects than prednisone.


Severe asthma, if not properly treated, can be fatal.

Severe asthma is a disease characterized by wheezing