Do You Have Asthma? These Medications Could Be Making It Worse

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Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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The number of people who have asthma continues to grow – an estimated 24.6 million Americans are currently suffering from the disease. Things that can trigger asthma include allergies, exercise, acid reflux, and irritants like smoke or perfumes. But did you know that prescription and over-the-counter medications can also cause problems with asthma?

Here are some medications that can make your asthma worse, or even cause an asthma attack. If you have asthma and are taking any of these, you may want to consider speaking with your doctor.

Blood pressure medications

It’s important to take your medication if you have high blood pressure, but some of these could be making your asthma worse. If you have both high blood pressure and asthma, you may want to avoid the following:

Pain medications

There are several different types of medication that can be used for pain. Prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are used to treat inflammation for problems like rheumatoid arthritis, fever, or generalized pain.   

You may be wondering how or why over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications could cause a problem. After all, you can get it without a prescription – right? Keep in mind that just because you’re able to buy something over-the-counter, without a prescription, doesn’t mean it can’t cause problems or is consequence-free given the perfect storm scenario.

The following are examples of anti-inflammatories that could cause problems with your asthma:

What if I am taking one of the medications listed and have asthma?

If you’re taking one of the medications listed above and have asthma that is uncontrolled or worsening, you will want to talk to your doctor. Never stop taking a medication without first speaking with your doctor. It can be extremely dangerous to abruptly stop certain medications.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes the benefits of certain medications may outweigh the risks and your doctor’s professional and clinical judgment will be used to determine if you should remain on a medication or be taken off it.  

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