Asthma/COPD Treatment

Asthma and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are long-term conditions that constrict the sufferer’s airways and make it difficult for them to breathe. While the conditions are slightly different, both asthma symptoms and COPD symptoms include chronic coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Suffering from breathing problems at some point in your life is very common and you’ll find effective treatments for asthma management and COPD management, in our wide range of asthma medications and COPD medications.

Think you might have Asthma? Take our "Do I Have Asthma" Quiz!

Explore the different asthma treatments available on our comparison tool.

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Buy Asthma Treatment

Yes. You can buy asthma treatments online at UK Meds. UK Meds stock a wide range of asthma medicines and COPD medicines including an inhaler device such as inhaled corticosteroid inhalers, combination inhalers, preventer inhalers and reliever inhalers. If you require a asthma medications and wish to purchase your treatment online, you can do so. Simply complete an online consultation and once it has been reviewed by our independent pharmacist prescriber you will be issued with a prescription for the medication, providing that your consultation is approved.

You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider prior to starting treatment with any asthma drugs as they can ensure that it is suitable for your individual requirements.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease (long-term) (WHO, 2019), that usually begins during childhood (Mayo Clinic, 2023), impacting their lung function and leading sufferers to have trouble breathing, as well as fits of coughing and wheezing (NHS, 2024).

Asthma Triggers

As an asthma sufferer, if you have mild asthma or severe asthma, you’ll notice that certain things act as asthma triggers (also known as 'asthma exacerbations') (NHS, 2024), these include:

  • Dust
  • Pollutants
  • Pollen
  • Smoke
  • Animal fur
  • Exercise

An Asthma trigger will inflame the bronchioles, which are very sensitive and bring on an asthma flare up, more commonly known as an asthma attack (Asthma and Lung UK, 2022); a sharp increase in the severe asthma symptoms.

The reason that Asthma sufferers have such difficulties breathing is because the condition constricts the airways to the lungs (Health and Safety Executive, 2021). The muscles tighten, the wall becomes inflamed and swollen, and there is an increased amount of phlegm, which all leads to a much smaller passage for air to enter and exit through, than that of a healthy person.

While we know what Asthma is, how it occurs and various asthma triggers that cause asthma exacerbation, it’s not really known what causes persistent asthma to develop in the first place (NHS, 2024). Some research suggests that you may be born with a predisposition that increases your risk of developing it, while other evidence suggests it could be hereditary or related to genetics (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, 2018).

Allergic Asthma

It's particularly important for people suffering from allergic asthma to be aware of what their asthma triggers are and how to prevent an asthma attack, as allergens are everywhere (WebMD, 2023).

Asthma and Mental Health

Long term lung conditions such as severe asthma and severe COPD can cause sufferers to experience mental health issues such as depression and anxiety (Asthma and Lung UK, 2023).

Like Asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a disease that affects your ability to breathe, and emphysema and chronic bronchitis both fall under this umbrella term (WebMD, 2018). Unlike Asthma, COPD is progressive rather than just chronic, which means it worsens over time (NHS, 2023), often due to lifestyle factors such as smoking. Almost 90% of deaths related to COPD have been linked to smoking (GOV.UK, 2015).

COPD Symptoms

Typically, the symptoms of COPD are similar to asthma but tend to be more constant and progressive (Medical News Today, 2023):

  • Inflamed airways
  • Excessive mucus
  • Damaged alveolar (air sacs in the lungs)

We can trace the cause backwards more easily though (Spencer & Kreiger, 2013), as it’s usually down to cigarette smoke in developed countries (WHO, 2023), and pollution in developing ones (Brakema et al, 2019).

Asthma Inhaler / COPD Inhaler

The diseases can be quite different, but asthma treatment and COPD treatment is normally the same because the symptoms are similar too, typically, your doctor would prescribe a form of inhaler for asthma. You’ll find a range of asthma medications and COPD medications to treat breathing problems at UK Meds, with clear-to-follow instructions regarding use of an inhaler (for those who’ve never used one before). The ideal asthma medication or COPD medication treatment will mainly depend on the condition you are suffering from, as some medications are suitable for both, while others are tailored purely for either Asthma or COPD. In some cases breathing exercises may help with your condition (Santino et al, 2022). Your doctor, asthma nurse or health professional will be able to advise the most suitable asthma control treatment for your individual condition.

The inhalers usually contain bronchodilators (NHS, 2021), to open the airways, and corticosteroids (NHS, 2023), to reduce inflammation, but these will be in a variety of doses to treat varying severities. Treatment options also differ based on whether the inhaler is for long-term, ongoing treatment or to act as a rescue in the event of an attack of breathlessness.

As well as asthma medicine, you can also help yourself to manage your illness by being careful with your lifestyle choices (Stoodley et al, 2019). For example, quitting smoking will greatly improve your ability to breathe (Perret et al, 2016), and exercise should be done with caution (Panagiotou et al, 2020).

Asthma Action Plan

An asthma action plan helps asthma patients to understand which medications to take on a daily basis to treat their condition, appropriate actions to take if their asthma symptoms get worse and emergency actions to take if they experience an asthma attack (Asthma Lung UK, 2023). Your doctor, GP or asthma nurse will be able to create an appropriate asthma action plan to cater to your individual needs and the best course of treatment for asthma.

Asthma First Aid

The NHS have compiled some helpful asthma first aid tips to allow you to help someone suffering from an asthma attack in an emergency situation.

Asthma Experiences

Every individual's asthma experience is unique to them and they will all have different experiences. Take a look at some independent experiences of people's asthma journeys below:

Asthma Experience 1Asthma Experience 2Asthma Experience 3Asthma Experience 4Asthma Experience 5
@selfacceptancewithjess how about that then #asthmaproblems #periodproblems #relatableteen ♬ original sound - jess | body image & vag love@mikayladeg Feeling like I’ve climbed Mount Everest just from speaking in this video #asthma #sick #tiktokuk #tiktoksouthafrica #thirdculturekid #thirdculturekidproblems ♬ original sound - Mika Gouveia@holistichealthpt Life as an asthmatic runner! If you know me and you see me spin you might be really surprised by my running struggles, but this is life with asthma! I’m really excited to see how my times (and lungs) improve over the next few months! #asthmaticsbelike #asthmatic #runningwithasthma ♬ Good Energy - Yung Wylin'@brookelynnruns Having asthma is not something I have talked about too much so far, so I am really excited to start opening up more on this app and sharing my story in its entirety #running #asthmaticrunner #asthma #girlswhorun #beginnerrunner #runningmotivation #dohardthings #firstmarathon #marathontraining #nycmarathon #runtok #asthmatok ♬ original sound - NOFEELINGS.@jordanpthomson Idk how i lived this long without an inhaler. #marathontraining #couchtomarathon #jordanrunsamarathon #exerciseinducedasthma ♬ original sound - Jordan Thomson

The above independent asthma experiences are only for informational purposes and may not be suitable for your individual asthma requirements. Always consult your doctor, GP, asthma nurse or healthcare professional for appropriate asthma treatment advice that is safe and suitable for you.

There are a lot of different asthma treatments, asthma inhalers (such as a preventer inhaler, reliever inhaler, combination inhaler, metered dose inhaler, dry powder inhaler and more) available which can be quite confusing - each asthma medication has it's own active ingredients, method of application and dosages. Take a look at the comparison table below to see a summary of the various asthma treatments available at UK Meds to give you a better understanding of each one:

Product ImageAsthma Treatment NameActive IngredientsAvailable dosesFormPrescription Required
VentolinVentolinSalbutamol100mcg, 200mcgInhalerYes
SalamolSalamolSalbutamol Sulfate100mcgInhalerYes
Clenil ModuliteClenil ModuliteBeclometasone dipropionate50mcg, 100mcg, 200mcg, 250mcgInhalerYes
MontelukastMontelukastMontelukast Sodium10mcgTabletYes
SeretideSeretideSalmeterol / Fluticasone propionate50mcg, 100mcg, 125mg, 250mcg, 500mcgInhalerYes
AtroventAtroventIpratropium bromide20mcgInhalerYes
Fostair NEXThalerFostair NEXThalerBeclometasone dipropionate anhydrous / formoterol fumarate dihydrate100/6mcg, 200/6mcgInhalerYes
Relvar ElliptaRelvar ElliptaFluticasone furoate / vilanterol92/22mcg, 184/22mcgInhalerYes
QvarQvarBeclometasone Dipropionate50mcg, 100mcgInhalerYes
Symbicort TurbohalerSymbicort TurbohalerBudesonide / formoterol fumarate dihydrate100/6mcg, 200/6mcg, 400/12mcgInhalerYes
DuoResp SpiromaxDuoResp SpiromaxBudesonide / formoterol fumarate dihydrate160/4.5mcg, 320/9mcgInhalerYes
FlutiformFlutiformFluticasone propionate / formoterol fumarate dihydrate125/5mcg, 250/10mcgInhalerYes
FlixotideFlixotideFluticasone propionate50mcg, 100mcg, 250mcgInhalerYes
Spiriva RespimatSpiriva RespimatTiotropium2.5mcgInhalerYes
BricanylBricanylTerbutaline Sulfate500mcgInhalerYes
Pulmicort TurbohalerPulmicort TurbohalerBudesonide100mcg, 200mcg, 400mcgInhalerYes
SerefloSerefloSalmeterol / Fluticasone propionate25/125mcg, 25/250mcgInhalerYes
AlvescoAlvescoCiclesonide80mcg, 160mcgInhalerYes
SirduplaSirduplaSalmeterol / Fluticasone propionate25/125mcg, 25/250mcgInhalerYes
Airomir AutohalerAiromir AutohalerSalbutamol Sulfate100mcg/puffInhalerYes
Spiolto RespimatSpiolto RespimatTiotropium / Olodaterol2.5/2.5mcgInhalerYes
KelhaleKelhaleBeclometasone Dipropionate50mcg, 100mcgInhalerYes
Incurse ElliptaIncurse ElliptaUmeclidinium (Umeclidinium bromide)55mcgInhalerYes
SereventSereventSalmeterol25mcg Evohaler, 50mcg AccuhalerInhalerYes
AirFluSal MDIAirFluSal MDISalmeterol (as salmeterol xinafoate) / fluticasone propionate25/125mcg, 25/250mcgInhalerYes
Fostair InhalerFostair InhalerBeclometasone dipropionate / formoterol fumarate dihydrate100/6mcg, 200/6mcgInhalerYes
Luforbec InhalerLuforbec InhalerBeclometasone dipropionate / formoterol fumarate dihydrate100/6mcg, 200/6mcgInhalerYes
Striverdi RespimatStriverdi RespimatTiotropium2.5mcgInhalerYes
Aerivio SpiromaxAerivio SpiromaxSalmeterol / fluticasone propionate50/500mcgInhalerYes

Asthma FAQs

What is occupational asthma?

Occupational asthma is a form of asthma that is caused by breathing in substances in a work / occupational environment, these substances can include chemicals, fumes, animal furs, dust and more (Asthma UK, 2020). Your doctor, GP, asthma nurse or healthcare provider will be able to advise you on the best medications for asthma to treat your occupational asthma, or alternatively, they may recommend that self help techniques are more appropriate, such as avoiding the causes of it.

Can asthma go away?

Many asthma patients as the question "can asthma go away"?. The truth is that whilst some people may experience a reduction in asthma symptoms over time, it is unlikely that asthma will go away completely without any medical intervention. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best asthma medication to suit your individual needs for both quick relief and longer term treatment..

Google Web Story: Can Asthma Go Away

UK Meds' Google Web Story explains the answer to the question "can asthma go away?". You can view it below:

How common is asthma death in the UK?

Asthma deaths are responsible for 3 people dying in the UK each day and every 10 seconds someone suffers an asthma attack that is life-threatening (NHS England, 2023).

What is the most common symptom of asthma?

The most common symptom could be a combination of chest tightness, breathlessness and/or wheezing when you breath (NHS, 2024).


Content author

Scott Weaver

Medical Content Writer • Bachelor of Arts Degree

Scott is an experienced, skilled content writer dedicated to creating helpful and accessible medical content for UK Meds.

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Medical Reviewer

Medical Reviewer

Thomas Martin

General Practitioner (GP) • MB BCh

Dr. Thomas Martin is a seasoned family medicine doctor, with over 28 years of experience, including 9 years as a GP in Irish government service and emergency out-of-hours care.

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