By H. Leon. Pennsylvania State University at Altoona. 2019.
If the Hb is less than 5 g/dl buy mycelex-g 100mg on-line, give a blood transfusion (whole blood 10 ml/kg over 30 minutes and a further 10 ml/kg over 1 to 2 hours without diuretics) order mycelex-g 100mg with mastercard. Monitor response by continuous clinical observation supported by repeated measurement of acid/base status mycelex-g 100 mg amex, Hb, blood sugar, and urea and electrolyte levels. Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Malaria in Zambia 68 Chapter 8: Malaria in Pregnancy 8. Pregnant women are particularly at risk due to the lowered acquired partial immunity during pregnancy. Malaria in pregnancy may present as acute symptomatic disease or as chronic anaemia. In these areas, the risk for pregnant women to get severe malaria is higher than in non-pregnant women, and the mother or her fetus might die from hypoglycaemia, cerebral malaria, or severe anaemia. Adverse pregnancy outcomes include spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, severe maternal anaemia, and low birth weight (weight <2500grams). Low birth weight is as a result of prematurity and/or intrauterine growth retardation. Low birth weight is the single most important risk factor for neonatal and infant death. This means that malaria in pregnancy will often be asymptomatic, with anaemia being the main maternal manifestation of the infection in stable malaria areas, with quite severe anaemia in areas of low transmission. Other effects may include: preterm delivery, intrauterine growth retardation, perinatal death, low Apgar scores, and intrauterine fetal death. A negative slide is therefore not a definitive confirmation of the absence of malaria parasites in pregnancy. Quinine is effective and can be used in all trimesters of pregnancy including the first trimester. In reality, women often do not declare their pregnancies in the first trimester, so early pregnancies will often be exposed inadvertently to the available first-line treatment. There is increasing experience with artemisinin derivatives in the second and third trimesters. Severe malaria Pregnant women, particularly in the second and third trimesters, are more likely to develop severe malaria than other adults, often complicated by pulmonary oedema and hypoglycaemia. Maternal mortality is approximately 50%, Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Malaria in Zambia 71 which is higher than in non-pregnant adults. Parenteral antimalarials should be given to pregnant women with severe malaria in full doses without delay. Treatment must not be delayed and should be started with quinine in the first trimester and injectable artesunate in the second and third trimesters. Fever in pregnancy A pregnant woman with fever should be evaluated like any adult patient presenting with fever before instituting treatment for malaria. One adult treatment dose (3 tablets) is given monthly after quickening (16 weeks following the last menstrual period. The total number of doses recommended for the entire duration of pregnancy is three or more doses, under direct observation when possible. Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Malaria in Zambia 73 Chapter 9: Antimalarial Medicines 9. The Zambia National Formulary and other reference material should be used if further information is required. Quinine is the first-line medicine for treatment of uncomplicated malaria during the first trimester of pregnancy. For severe and complicated malaria, artesunate is the recommended first-line medicine for all population categories except pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy, when parenteral quinine is preferred. The use of two or more medicines that have the same biochemical target in the parasite, such as sulphadoxine- pyrimethamine, chlorproguanil-dapsone, or atovaquone- proguanil, is not considered combination therapy. Similarly, the use of two medicines that have no significant schizonticidal effect when used as monotherapy is not considered combination therapy. Combination therapy in antimicrobial treatment is a well- known principle used to slow down the development of resistance of microbial pathogens. Combination therapies can either be fixed dose, where all components are co-formulated in a single tablet, or free combinations, where the components are in separate tablets or capsules but are co-administered. The underlying theory to combination therapy in malaria is based on the fact that resistance to antimalarial medicines arises from the selection of mutations. An effective combination should include an effective short half-life medicine and a compatible longer half-life partner antimalarial medicine. This shortens the duration of Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Malaria in Zambia 75 treatment, while at the same time reducing the likelihood of development of resistance. A number of combination formulations comprising an artemisinin medicine and another antimalarial medicine have recently been developed. The combinations have generally included a fast-acting artemisinin component with a slower-acting effective antimalarial medicine. The recommended first-line medicine for treating uncomplicated malaria in the current malaria treatment policy, artemether-lumefantrine, is one such combination. Presentation It is currently available as a co-formulated tablet presented in a blister packet containing 20 mg artemether and 120 mg lumefantrine. Artemether and lumefantrine work at different points in the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Malaria in Zambia 77 Plasmodium life cycle, making emergence of resistance unlikely. As shown in Figure 3, parasites in the infected erythrocytes ingest and degrade haemoglobin and concentrate the iron in a food vacuole in the form of toxic haem (A). It then splits into an endoperoxide bridge as it interacts with haem, blocking conversion to haemozoin (C), destroying existing haemozoin, and releasing haem (D) and a cluster of free radicals into the parasite (E). Toxic haem and free radicals are jointly responsible for the death of the parasite (H). Artemether provides rapid onset of action to kill the parasite; lumefantrine has a slower onset but its longer-acting activity prevents reappearance or recrudescence of the parasite. The artemether component is fast-acting, reducing parasite load significantly within a few hours of administration. The lumefantrine component is slower acting but lasts longer, thereby providing therapeutic activity for a longer period.
Of course discount 100 mg mycelex-g otc, the physician must prescribe in a manner calculated to avoid addiction best mycelex-g 100 mg, diversion discount mycelex-g 100 mg free shipping, respiratory depression, dependence, and other adverse effects. We also believe that responsible prescription of opioids should not be inhibited by fear of criminal prosecution or regulatory action. Physicians Should Be Sensitive To And Seek To Minimize The Risks Of Addiction, Respiratory Depression And Other Adverse Effects, Tolerance, And Diversion. Addiction: Addiction is a neurobiological, compulsive disorder in which an individual becomes preoccupied with obtaining and using a substance-- and experiences a lack of control over using that substance -- despite continued use that results in a decreased quality of life and significant adverse consequences. Addiction is a serious problem that should be considered as a possibility in all patients receiving opioids. However, misunderstanding of addiction and mislabeling of patients as addicts may result in unnecessary withholding of opioid medications. In all cases, the physician must balance the possibility of addiction against the benefits of the therapy – striving always to reduce the risk of the former. In some cases, however, treatment by an addiction medicine specialist may be indicated. While respiratory depression can occur with patients taking opioids, this risk can generally be minimized if certain precautions are followed. For instance, concomitant use of other neuro-depressive drugs, such as benzodiazepines and alcohol, should be viewed with great caution, since the combination of these drugs has been shown to increase the risk of serious adverse events. In addition, caution with dosing and titrations is indicated for patients with underlying diagnoses such as sleep apnea or end-stage respiratory disease due to the increased risk of cardio-respiratory events. Finally, patients do not develop complete tolerance to the respiratory depressant effects of opioids and the risk of respiratory depression increases as dose increases, regardless of how long one is on opioids. Tolerance: It was previously thought that the development of analgesic tolerance limited the ability to use opioids effectively on a long-term basis for pain management. Tolerance, or decreasing pain relief with the same dosage over time, has not proven to be a significant impediment to long-term opioid use. Experience with treating cancer pain has shown that what initially appears to be tolerance is usually progression of the disease. In the noncancer patient, the failure to respond to increasing doses of opioids should be evaluated very carefully. The possibilities include tolerance, disease progression, non-opioid responsive pain syndromes, and opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Diversion: Diversion of controlled substances should be a concern of every health professional. Attention to patterns of prescription requests and the prescribing of opioids as part of an ongoing relationship between a patient and a healthcare provider can decrease the risk of diversion. Urine and/or blood drug screening, frequent follow up and patient contact, and pill counts are some commonly used clinical interventions that may be helpful in ruling out the issue of diversion. Periodic review of state prescription monitoring program databases, where available, is also a useful tool to monitor compliance and adequacy of communication. Opioids Should Be Prescribed Only After A Thorough Evaluation Of The Patient, Consideration Of Alternatives, Development Of A Treatment Plan Tailored To The Needs Of The Patient And Minimization of Adverse Effects, And On-Going Monitoring And Documentation. Evaluation of the patient: Evaluation should initially include a pain history and assessment of the impact of pain on the patient, a directed physical examination, a review of previous diagnostic studies, a review of previous treatments, a drug history, and an assessment of coexisting diseases or conditions. Treatment plan: Treatment planning should be tailored to both the individual and the presenting problem. Consideration should be given to different treatment modalities, such as an 3 © 2013 American Academy of Pain Medicine - Approved February 2013 interventional approach, a formal pain rehabilitation program, the use of physical medicine and psychological and behavioral strategies, or the use of medications, depending upon the physical and psychosocial impairment related to the pain. Opioids should be prescribed only if the physician reasonably concludes that other treatment modalities will be inadequate to address the patient’s pain. A trial of opioids implies setting expectations that the medications will be prescribed for a short period of time. Continued use will be contingent upon demonstrated improvement in analgesia, physical function and quality of life – and absence of significant adverse events and maladaptive behaviors. Consultation as needed: Consultation with a Pain Medicine or other specialist may be warranted, depending on the expertise of the practitioner and the complexity of the presenting problem. The management of pain in patients with a history of addiction or a comorbid psychiatric disorder requires special consideration. Periodic review of treatment efficacy: Review of treatment efficacy should occur frequently to assess the functional status of the patient, continued analgesia, adverse effects, quality of life, and indications of medication misuse. Monitoring of compliance is a critical aspect of chronic opioid prescribing, using such tools as random urine drug screening, pill counts, and where available, review of prescription monitoring data base reports. Close follow-up and reexamination is warranted to assess the nature of the pain complaint and to ensure that opioid therapy is still indicated. Attention should be given to the possibility of a decrease in global function or quality of life as a result of opioid use. Documentation: Documentation is essential for supporting the evaluation, the reason for opioid prescribing, the overall pain management treatment plan, any consultations received, and periodic review of the status of the patient. Keywords Abstract diagnosis; drug allergy; drug Skin tests are of paramount importance for the evaluation of drug hypersensitiv- hypersensitivity; intradermal test; skin test. Drug skin tests are often not carried out because of lack of concise Correspondence information on speciﬁc test concentrations. Knut Brockow, Department of based on history alone, which is an unreliable indicator of true hypersensitiv- Dermatology and Allergology Biederstein, ity. To promote and standardize reproducible skin testing with safe and nonirri- Technische Universitat Munchen,€ € tant drug concentrations in the clinical practice, the European Network and Biedersteiner Str. Group on Drug Allergy has performed a literature search on skin test drug con- Tel. Where the literature is poor, we have taken into consideration Accepted for publication 7 February 2013 the collective experience of the group. We recommend drug concentration for skin testing aiming to achieve a speciﬁcity of at least 95%. For many other drugs, Edited by: Hans-Uwe Simon there is insufﬁcient evidence to recommend appropriate drug concentration.
In this situation discount mycelex-g 100 mg amex, one of the patients� high priorities is to give a positive image abouhim/herself to health care professionals 100mg mycelex-g fast delivery. Ethical/moral or religious values Our modern medicine has been builto rely on values mycelex-g 100 mg amex. Sometimes the values of modern medicine and the patiendiffer buboth of these sets of values are essential rules of treatment. The reasons for non-compliance may be relad to ethical/moral or religious values of life, in which iis nomeaningful to speak abou�compliance�, burather abou�concordance�. In Finland, there are differenminorities thabelong to this group, and several immigrants groups have further increased the multiplicity of these groups. In this cagory, iis essential to understand thathese are the real values of the patient. Iis therefore importanto identify the situations where this cagory have been used as an excuse for refusing treatment, which in reality involve a problem in the priorities of life. This cagory includes the patients with ethical/moral or religious values, for whom their own health and its treatmenare a matr of high priority, buwho find certain treatmenmethods unacceptable. An example of this mighbe Jehovah�s Witnesses, who refuse blood transfusion (Gyamfi eal 2003). Ihas also been repord thapork- and beef-derived gelatin and/or saric acid, which are used as inercomponents in some drugs, are unacceptable to some patients in the Muslim, Orthodox Christian, and Seventh Day Adventisfaiths (Sattar eal 2004). In birth control some people cannoaccepmethods thahave postfertilization effects, such as intraurine devices, hormonal emergency contraception and oral contraceptives (Larimore 2000, Larimore and Stanford 2000, Kahlenborn eal 2002, Stanford and Mikolajczyk 2002). Ihas been found in Finland that, of several therapeutic classes gynecological patients (the main subgroup was oral contraceptives) received leascounseling from pharmacists (Vainio eal 2002). Furthermore, future embryonic sm cell treatments are considered non- acceptable for those patients who find thaa patient�s sickness should nobe healed with a method tharequires the life of a human embryo to be destroyed. If these ethical/moral or religious values are combined with the patient�s view thahealth is noa high-priority matr, the case does nobelong to this cagory, buto the priorities of life cagory. For example, if the day of death is unchangeable, actions to improve one�s health mighseem unnecessary. However, this view conflicts with all findings of modern medicine showing thaa group of patients taking a certain medicine survive longer than another group of patients taking placebo. And even if the day of death is unchangeable, from a patient�s view, is the quality of life unchangeable? Preventing a hearattack or stroke n years before death mighbe very beneficial for the quality of life. Between inntional and non-inntional non-compliance and non-concordance Inntional and non-inntional non-compliance can also be partly simultaneous. If the taking of medicines is noso important, other things fill up the mind, and iis easy to forgeto take the medicine (Barber 2002). Simultaneous memory problems in inntional non-compliance and non-concordance may be more like secondary memory problems, which are noreal memory problems. To clarify this possibility, the patienwith memory problems should be asked abouthe attitudes and opinions of the perceived importance of medication-taking. However, the reliability of inrview-based self-reports has been found to be problematic (Garber ea2004), and future studies need to find more suitable chniques for inrviews or e. Clarification of the main reason for non-compliance/non- concordance is importanboth in medical practice and in research. However, in research iis a pontial source of bias if patients with inntional behaviour and memory problems are misclassified in both groups in statistical analyses. Motivation The connection between motivation and compliance and concordance is inresting and involves elements thaare relad to differentypes of non-compliance and non- concordance. If life is depressing, the patienmay lack motivation for many things, including medication-taking and this probably belongs to the disease cagory. If the priorities of life are noin order, there mighnobe motivation to take medication, i. Iis also possible thahealth care professionals do nomotiva patients enough, and the patiendoes nounderstand the importance of antihypernsive medication and has individualistic ways of taking care of his/her health by using his/her own methods and partly or complely neglects the medical regimen. Applications of the classificatory model The classification of non-compliance and non-concordance helps us to understand the complex phenomena of compliance and concordance, which is essential for achieving progress in research. Although the understanding of non-compliance/non-concordance is essential, imusbe borne in mind thathere are also other reasons for failure in treatment. An example of this could be a study on resistanhypernsion patients, for whom the reason was found in 91% of the cases (Yakovlevitch and Black 1991). The moscommon reasons for resistanhypernsion were: inadequa dosage or failure to prescribe antihypernsive drugs according to indication (43%), intolerable adverse drug effects despi several atmpts with differendrugs (half of the cases were also associad with non-compliance) (14%), secondary hypernsion (11%), non- compliance (10%), misinrpretation of psychological or physical signals as adverse drug effects of antihypernsive drugs (8%). In their study, 53% of patients had their blood pressure in control and the situation was clearly improved in another 11% of patients. Profound understanding of non-compliance/non-concordance combined with effective and adequa treatments is needed for success in medical practice. The classificatory model sheds lighon both the compliance and concordance theories, offering a possibility to develop methods of measurementhatake into accounthe classification of phenomenona which should be considered an essential parof any seriously taken method of measurement. Patient-perceived problems concern practically every patienwith antihypernsive drug therapy in Finnish primary health care. Inntional non-compliance with antihypernsive medication is associad with patient-perceived problems in the areas of everyday life relad problems, health care sysm relad problems and patient-relad problems. Poor control of blood pressure with antihypernsive drug therapy is associad with patient-perceived everyday life-relad problems, hopeless attitude towards hypernsion and frustration with treatment. The association between blood pressure control and compliance was problematic to establish. The classifying model of non-compliance and non-concordance, which was cread, cagorizes the complex phenomenon into several entities and helps in understanding non-compliance. The hypernsion-relad findings of this study show thathe treatmenof hypernsive patients in Finland is far from optimal. The sysm of health care has many importantargets, especially in the areas associad with non-compliance or poor outcome of treatment. These targets include reorganization of patienservices as more patient-friendly, change of attitudes among health care professionals into a more supportive direction and developmenof ways to share more effective and tailored individualistic information.
A wide range of health care settings is needed to effectively meet the diverse needs of patients 100mg mycelex-g. Health care services can be delivered by a wide-range of providers including doctors quality 100 mg mycelex-g, nurses cheap mycelex-g 100 mg overnight delivery, nurse practitioners, psychologists, licensed counselors, care managers, social workers, health educators, peer workers, and others. With limited resources for prevention and treatment, matching patients to the appropriate level of care, delivered by the appropriate level of provider, is crucial for extending those resources to reach the most patients possible. Structural and Financing Models A range of promising health care structures and fnancing 1 models are currently being explored for integrating general health care and substance use disorder treatment within See the sections on “Health Homes” health care systems, as well as integrating the substance and “Accountable Care Organizations” use disorder treatment system with the overall health care later in this chapter. These new models are developing and testing strategies for effectively and sustainably fnancing high-quality care that integrates behavioral health and general health care. Technology Integration 1 Technology can play a key role in supporting these integrated care models. For example, a recent study found that doctors continue to prescribe opioids for 91 percent of patients who suffered a non-fatal overdose, with 63 percent of those patients continuing to receive high doses; 17 percent of these patients overdosed again within 2 years. Effective coordination6 between emergency departments and primary care providers can help to prevent these tragedies. Wrap-around supports necessary to help them maintain their recovery, services are non-clinical services that leading to relapse. The risk for overdose is particularly high facilitate patient engagement and retention in treatment as well as their after a period of abstinence, due to reduced tolerance— ongoing recovery. This can include patients no longer know what a safe dose is for them—and services to address patient needs related this all too often results in overdose deaths. This is a common to transportation, employment, childcare, story when patients are released from prison without a housing, and legal and fnancial problems, among others. Health care systems play a key role in providing the coordination necessary to avert these tragic outcomes. If treated at all, alcoholism was most often treated in asylums, separate from the rest of health care. The separation of substance use disorder treatment and general health care was further infuenced by social and political trends of the 1970s. At that time, substance misuse and addiction were generally viewed as social problems best dealt with through civil and criminal justice interventions such as involuntary commitment to psychiatric hospitals, prison-run “narcotic farms,” or other forms of confnement. At this time, there was a major push to signifcantly expand substance misuse prevention and treatment services. For these reasons, new substance use disorder Treatment, and Management of treatment programs were created, ultimately expanding to Substance Use Disorders. This meant that with the exception of withdrawal management in hospitals (detoxifcation), virtually all substance use disorder treatment was delivered by programs that were geographically, fnancially, culturally, and organizationally separate from mainstream health care. One positive consequence was the initial development of effective and inexpensive behavioral change strategies rarely used in the treatment of other chronic illnesses. However, the separation of substance use disorder treatment from general health care also created unintended and enduring impediments to the quality and range of care options available to patients in both systems. For example, it tended to reinforce the notion that substance use disorders were different from other medical conditions. Despite numerous research studies documenting high prevalence rates of substance use disorders among patients in emergency departments, hospitals, and general medical care settings, mainstream health care generally failed to recognize or address substance use-related health problems. Intensive, showed that the presence of a substance use disorder often 24-hour-a-day services delivered in a doubles the odds that a person will develop another chronic hospital setting. Beginning in the 1990s, a number of events converged to lay the foundation for integrated care. Further, the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, requires that non-grandfathered health care plans offered in the individual and small group markets both inside and outside insurance exchanges provide coverage for a comprehensive list of 10 categories of items and services, known as “essential health benefts. This requirement represents a signifcant change in the way many health insurers respond to these disorders. Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act To more broadly cover uninsured individuals, the Affordable Care Act includes a provision that allows states to expand Medicaid coverage. In those states (“Medicaid expansion states”), individuals in households with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for Medicaid. Benefts include mental health and substance use disorder treatment services with coverage equivalent to that of general health care services. Medicaid expansion is a key lever for expanding access to substance use treatment because many of the most vulnerable individuals with substance use disorders have incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. As of fall 2015, an estimated 3 million adults have incomes that make them eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act but live in a state that has declined to expand Medicaid eligibility as permitted under the new law. Other changes, described later in this chapter, are also helping to create momentum for integration. For example, primary care settings can serve as a conduit to help patients engage in and maintain recovery. Relatedly, the National Commission on Prevention Priorities of the Partnership for Prevention ranks primary care-based interventions to reduce alcohol misuse among the most valuable clinical preventive services. However, assessment for drug use is recommended under numerous circumstances, including treating any condition for which drug use might interfere with the treatment; considering potential interactions with prescribed medications; supporting integration of behavioral health care; and monitoring patient risk when prescribing opioid pain medications or sedatives/tranquilizers. It is also important to emphasize that brief primary care-based interventions by themselves are likely not sufcient to address severe substance use disorders. Effective referral arrangements that include motivating patients to accept the referral are critical elements to encourage individuals to engage in treatment for their substance use disorder. Reasons Why Integrating Substance Use Disorder Services and Mainstream Health Care Is Necessary A number of strong arguments underpin the growing momentum to integrate substance use disorder services and mainstream health care. The main argument is that substance use disorders are medical conditions like any other—the overarching theme of much of this Report. Recognition of that fact means it no longer makes sense to keep substance use disorders segregated from other health issues. A number of other realities support the need for integration:63 $ Substance use, mental disorders, and other general medical conditions are often interconnected; $ Integration has the potential to reduce health disparities; $ Delivering substance use disorder services in mainstream health care can be cost-effective and may reduce intake/treatment wait times at substance use disorder treatment facilities; and $ Integration can lead to improved health outcomes through better care coordination. Rather, the guideline is meant to inform health care professionals about some of the consequences of treatment with opioids for chronic pain and to consider, when appropriate, tapering and changing prescribing practices, as well as considering alternative pain therapies. The National Heroin Task Force, which consisted of law enforcement, doctors, public health offcials, and education experts, was convened to develop strategies to confront the heroin problem and decrease the escalating overdose epidemic and death rate.
Olympic athletes mycelex-g 100 mg without prescription, famous leaders and celebrities cheap mycelex-g 100 mg online, and ordinary people live successful and active lives with asthma buy cheap mycelex-g 100mg on-line. A flow-chart for making the diagnosis in clinical practice is shown in Box 1, with the specific criteria for diagnosing asthma in Box 2. Diagnostic flow-chart for asthma in clinical practice The diagnosis of asthma should be confirmed and, for future reference, the evidence documented in the patient’s notes. Depending on clinical urgency and access to resources, this should preferably be done before starting controller treatment. Confirming the diagnosis of asthma is more difficult after treatment has been started (see p7). A history of variable respiratory symptoms Typical symptoms are wheeze, shortness of breath, chest tightness, cough • People with asthma generally have more than one of these symptoms • The symptoms occur variably over time and vary in intensity • The symptoms often occur or are worse at night or on waking • Symptoms are often triggered by exercise, laughter, allergens or cold air • Symptoms often occur with or worsen with viral infections 2. If bronchodilator reversibility is not present when it is first tested, the next step depends on the clinical urgency and availability of other tests. Physical examination in people with asthma is often normal, but the most frequent finding is wheezing on auscultation, especially on forced expiration. Cough variant asthma is characterized by cough and airway hyperresponsiveness, and documenting variability in lung function is essential to make this diagnosis. Occupational asthma and work-aggravated asthma Every patient with adult-onset asthma should be asked about occupational exposures, and whether their asthma is better when they are away from work. It is important to confirm the diagnosis objectively (which often needs specialist referral) and to eliminate exposure as soon as possible. Pregnant women Ask all pregnant women and those planning pregnancy about asthma, and advise them about the importance of asthma treatment for the health of both mother and baby. The elderly Asthma may be under-diagnosed in the elderly, due to poor perception, an assumption that dyspnea is normal in old age, lack of fitness, or reduced activity. Asthma may also be over-diagnosed in the elderly through confusion with shortness of breath due to left ventricular failure or ischemic heart disease. Confirming an asthma diagnosis in patients taking controller treatment: For many patients (25–35%) with a diagnosis of asthma in primary care, the diagnosis cannot be confirmed. If the basis of the diagnosis has not already been documented, confirmation with objective testing should be sought. For example, if lung function is normal, repeat reversibility testing after withholding medications for 12 hours. If the patient has frequent symptoms, consider a trial of step-up in controller treatment and repeat lung function testing after 3 months. If the patient has few symptoms, consider stepping down controller treatment, but ensure the patient has a written asthma action plan, monitor them carefully, and repeat lung function testing. Asthma control – assess both symptom control and risk factors • Assess symptom control over the last 4 weeks (Box 4, p9) • Identify any other risk factors for poor outcomes (Box 4) • Measure lung function before starting treatment, 3–6 months later, and then periodically, e. Treatment issues • Record the patient’s treatment (Box 7, p14), and ask about side-effects • Watch the patient using their inhaler, to check their technique (p18) • Have an open empathic discussion about adherence (p18) • Check that the patient has a written asthma action plan (p22) • Ask the patient about their attitudes and goals for their asthma 3. Asthma control has two domains: symptom control (previously called ‘current clinical control’) and risk factors for future poor outcomes. Risk factors are factors that increase the patient’s future risk of having exacerbations (flare-ups), loss of lung function, or medication side-effects. Level of asthma symptom control In the past 4 weeks, has the patient had: Well Partly Uncontrolled controlled controlled Daytime symptoms more than twice/week? Risk factors for poor asthma outcomes Assess risk factors at diagnosis and periodically, particularly for patients experiencing exacerbations. Other major independent risk factors for flare-ups (exacerbations) include: • Ever being intubated or in intensive care for asthma • Having 1 or more severe exacerbations in the last 12 months. Once asthma has been diagnosed, lung function is most useful as an indicator of future risk. It should be recorded at diagnosis, 3–6 months after starting treatment, and periodically thereafter. Patients who have either few or many symptoms relative to their lung function need more investigation. Asthma severity can be assessed retrospectively from the level of treatment (p14) required to control symptoms and exacerbations. Severe asthma is asthma that requires Step 4 or 5 treatment, to maintain symptom control. How to investigate uncontrolled asthma in primary care This flow-chart shows the most common problems first, but the steps can be carried out in a different order, depending on resources and clinical context. The aim is to reduce the burden to the patient and their risk of exacerbations, airway damage, and medication side-effects. The patient’s own goals regarding their asthma and its treatment should also be identified. Population-level recommendations about ‘preferred’ asthma treatments represent the best treatment for most patients in a population. Patient-level treatment decisions should take into account any individual characteristics or phenotype that predict the patient’s likely response to treatment, together with the patient’s preferences and practical issues such as inhaler technique, adherence, and cost. A partnership between the patient and their health care providers is important for effective asthma management. Training health care providers in communication skills may lead to increased patient satisfaction, better health outcomes, and reduced use of health care resources. Health literacy – that is, the patient’s ability to obtain, process and understand basic health information to make appropriate health decisions – should be taken into account in asthma management and education. Before starting initial controller treatment • Record evidence for the diagnosis of asthma, if possible • Document symptom control and risk factors • Assess lung function, when possible • Train the patient to use the inhaler correctly, and check their technique • Schedule a follow-up visit After starting initial controller treatment • Review response after 2–3 months, or according to clinical urgency • See Box 7 for ongoing treatment and other key management issues • Consider step down when asthma has been well-controlled for 3 months 13 Box 7. Other options: Add-on tiotropium by soft-mist inhaler for adults (≥18 years) with a history of exacerbations. Patients should preferably be seen 1–3 months after starting treatment and every 3–12 months after that, except in pregnancy when they should be reviewed every 4–6 weeks. The frequency of review depends on the patient’s initial level of control, their response to previous treatment, and their ability and willingness to engage in self-management with an action plan. Stepping up asthma treatment Asthma is a variable condition, and periodic adjustment of controller treatment by the clinician and/or patient may be needed.