What Medicines Should I Take To Prevent a Cold From Progressing Into an Asthma Attack?

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I have always suffered from asthma as a child brought on as an after effect of colds and virus attacks. I am now 31 years old and the last attack I had, if I remember right, was when I was about 13. Later on, I moved to the western part of North Carolina to raise my kids and enjoy the beauty of the scenery there and my asthma came back with a bang as usual preceded by colds. With two kids of school-going age, there are lots of cold going round, as a result of which, I have suffered five attacks in the past two years. When I had the first two attacks, I took Primatene and just prayed that they would subside, but then I eventually went to the doctor and he prescribed Albuterol and sternly warned me to stay away from Primatene. Well, when I got the next attack about six months down the line, I was put on a course of prednisone for ten days. Again, the trigger was a cold that one of my brats brought home and it passed them by but got a hold on my lungs to give me an attack. This time though, the Albuterol inhaler did not help me at all and so I was back on Prednisone for another period of ten days. It has started kicking in already but I am feeling its side effects too. My stomach is paining and my extremities are beginning to hurt. I am having 40 mg a day and even that is too much. But this time, another doctor who said that I have a very bad wheezing and chronic asthma, advised me to start suppressive therapy with Singulair and Zyrtec. But my oxygen levels are always 99 or higher when I go in for a test when I have an attack. Another one said that it may not be asthma at all, only a wheezing reaction. I do not want to take medicines throughout the year for attacks that I get once or twice in a year. If there is anything I could take when I start a cold to prevent it from becoming worse I guess it may help. Do you think taking Singulair and Zyrtec will have some effect in the long run?
asked Dec 29, 2010 by anonymous