Aspirin-Induced Asthma: Definition, Diagnistics and Treatment

Type of the disease at which complications are caused by hypersensitivity to aspirin is called aspirin-induced asthma. Every decade a number of patients with a severe chronic disease – bronchial asthma – is increasing. Asthma cause is increased upper respiratory tract sensitivity to external factors. Asthma triggering factors can be both viral infections and allergy to different substances. Canadian Pharmacy specialist decided to consider aspirin-induced asthma symptoms and treatment in details.

Definition and Pathogenesis

aspirin-induced asthma

Aspirin-induced asthma is a special type of asthma, at which one of the main precipitating factors is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Aspirin-induced asthma is distinguished as a special type of asthma, similar to it in its symptoms. As with asthma, patients for many years suffer from dyspnea attacks and painful cough, sometimes developing into an asthma attack, which limits their activities in life.

Aspirin-induced asthma peculiarity is that its main reason is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Many patients mistakenly believe that aspirin-induced asthma can only be caused by a drug that gave its name – aspirin. In fact, a large group of drugs, such as analgin, baralgin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, citramonum, has similar chemical structure. It is necessary to eliminate yellow dye – tartrazine, and pills in a yellow coating, such as No-Spa.

As a result of receiving these drugs more molecules that lead to bronchi narrowing are formed and substances, contributing their expansion, are insufficient.

For this asthma type, severe patients’ condition is characteristic. At early disease stages, there are detected immune and endocrine systems disorders. Patients complain of nasal congestion and profuse discharge that can last all year round. When taking aspirin, health condition is sharply deteriorating. Classic disease symptoms are NSAID drugs intolerance, rhinitis, and nasal polyps. The latter two symptoms may not appear at aspirin-induced asthma.

Diagnostics and Treatment

Aspirin-induced asthma danger is that sometimes non-steroidal drugs are used to treat bronchial asthma. For example, to relieve asthma attack doctors may recommend baralgin, which includes anti-inflammatory drug – analgin. These drugs can cause a more severe asthma attack and lead to serious consequences, including death.

Aspirin-induced asthma treatment does not differ from treatment of the common type of this disease. Aspirin-induced asthma has one basic feature: patients are contraindicated NSAIDs. Caution should be taken when using paracetamol. Timely diagnostics of non-steroidal drugs intolerance is necessary. For diagnostics purposes, provocative tests with aspirin are commonly used. Doctors give patients the small dosage of the drug and record external respiration indicators. To conduct this tests it is necessary to be very careful. Medical centers, where these tests are carried out, must necessarily have intensive care unit.

There are three degrees of disease severity:

  1. mild: rare daytime and night-time attacks that can disappear on their own;
  2. moderately severe: nocturnal attacks appear more than twice a month;
  3. severe: frequent life-threatening attacks. Patients often require hospitalization.

It is impossible to completely cure aspirin-induced asthma. But therapy will facilitate patient’s condition. For this patient are often recommended inhalations. People with aspirin-induced asthma are prescribed Canadian Pharmacy inhaled corticosteroids, such as:

  • flunisolide;
  • budesonide;
  • fluticasone propionate.

Aspirin desynthesizing. In some cases, it is impossible to refuse from aspirin for health reasons, for example at rheumatic diseases. The phenomenon of patient’s insensitivity to repeated doses allows such treatment. At the beginning of the course patients are given about 10 mg of aspirin, and then the dosage is increased to 650 mg. Then patients administer supporting aspirin doses for a long time.

Surgery. In aspirin-induced asthma treatment sometimes such method as nasal polyps removal is used. As a result of this surgery nasal breathing and general patient’s condition improve.

Asthma treatment should be carried out only under qualified professionals supervision!

Aspirin-induced asthma is not the case when you can engage in self-medication.

Aspirin-Induced Asthma in Children

Bronchial asthma, combined with aspirin intolerance, often runs in families. You can observe families, in which asthma attacks as a result of receiving anti-inflammatory drugs appeared in four generations. Children in such families suffer from aspirin-induced asthma.

Aspirin intolerance occurs in about 30% of children with asthma. Children may suffer from attacks of a dry cough, dyspnea, especially at night and in the morning. In this disease, treatment corticosteroids are often used. For proper treatment, it is necessary to diagnose asthma type. Disease diagnostics at children has its difficulties.

Usually provoking test method is too dangerous to apply to children. Another method is used – high-performance liquid chromatography, by which amount of leukotrienes released by leukocytes under indomethacin influence is determined. The test is performed using patient’s venous blood. In any case, parents should watch what kind of reaction taken medications cause to note any deterioration. This will help the doctor to make the correct diagnosis.

Dosage is selected depending on disease severity. The leading role in drug delivery is played by inhalation devices – nebulizers. They provide maximal drug penetration into the respiratory tract. Ultrasonic nebulizers may be carried around.

Diet during Disease

At bronchial asthma, special attention should be paid to patient’s diet. At severe disease course the following products should be entirely eliminated from the menu:

  • canned foods;
  • gastronomic products, that is, all kinds of sausages, ham or boiled pork;
  • beer, liquor, wine, including champagne, coca-cola, coffee and tea (they contain large amounts of salicylates);
  • products containing food dyes such as tartrazine (yellow dye) or red cochineal;
  • red fruits and vegetables.

The menu can include fresh apples «Golden Delicious», pears, green and yellow onion, garlic, wild garlic, beets, potatoes – all of these products are low in salicylates. You can add vegetable herbs, such as parsley and saffron. Careful application of spices, such as soy sauce and vinegar, can also be useful. Also, there are a few hazardous substances in meat, fish and dairy products.


At severe disease forms, it is better to eat safe products and try new dishes in case of improvement. With early detection, preventive and therapeutic measures at patients with aspirin-induced asthma, as well as with other asthma types, can live a full life. Refusal of aspirin, proper diet and disease control will allow to reduce attacks frequency and lead active lifestyle and exercise.

Treatment for the patient must be prescribed by a qualified specialist. In no case do not engage in self-medication based on recommendations from friends or data from the Internet. With doctor’s help, disease control will be achieved, and patients can have a full life.