Approximately 25 million people are currently living with asthma in the United States. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), asthma is the most common chronic disease that affects children in the world, and more than 330 million people worldwide have the disease.
Asthma, which is characterized by swelling of airways that lead to the lungs making it difficult to breathe, has no cure. Asthma usually starts in childhood, but adults can develop asthma later in life too.
The exact cause for developing asthma has been hard to pinpoint, and it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and external factors like the environment or certain medications.
What triggers an asthma ‘attack’ is usually different for every individual. It can be allergens, like pollen, dust, or pet dander.
It can also be atmospheric such as the presence of smoke or chemical pollutants.
Once asthma is triggered, it results in symptoms that include trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing and breathlessness. These symptoms become worse with physical activity and are often worse at night.
Living with asthma can be challenging and many people have to take long-term medication to live full and healthy lives.
How is asthma treated?
There are many medications on the market that help with asthma symptoms. Some of these medications require a prescription, whereas others do not.
These medications are usually combined with lifestyle changes such as breathing exercises for the most benefit in managing the condition.
The treatment regimen is usually specific to the patient as asthma symptoms occur to varying degrees in different people.
The treatment method will depend on the severity of symptoms and how often they occur. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, many people do not have to take medication all the time to treat their asthma, but most patients take some form of medication regularly.
Most commonly, inhalers are used to help the asthma patient breathe.
These inhalers can release medication in the form of a powder, or they can release medication in a dosed manner as short bursts. Nebulizers can also be used to treat asthma.
Oral asthma medications are available on the market that can provide quick relief from an onset of symptoms.
These quick-relief medications do not always require a prescription but are effective in controlling symptoms. One such over-the-counter medication is Bronkaid.
What is Bronkaid?
Bronkaid is a medication that is used to treat symptoms of mild and intermittent asthma. The medication is meant for quick-relief of asthma symptoms. It is a combination of two active ingredients, ephedrine sulfate and guaifenesin.
The ephedrine sulfate acts as a ‘bronchodilator’, meaning that it relaxes the smooth muscles of the airways, allowing air to pass more freely into the lungs.
This relieves chest tightness and wheezing. Ephedrine is the synthetic version of the herbal stimulant from the ephedra plant, but as a medication in a pill form, the amount of ephedrine is strictly controlled unlike in herbal supplements.
Guaifenesin is an expectorant that loosens up mucus that can build up in the narrowed airways.
Normally, mucus lines the airways to protect it from irritants like allergens or from infection by bacteria or viruses.
In asthma, the airways are very sensitive to the presence of these irritants and the additional production of mucus to protect the airways causes the unwanted effect of congestion that makes breathing difficult.
The combined actions of Bronkaid as a bronchodilator and expectorant makes Bronkaid effective in providing fast relief to patients who suffer from breathing trouble and a cough due to asthma.
It provides benefits of draining bronchial tubes of mucus and helps coughs become more productive in expelling phlegm.
The medication is not recommended for indications other than asthma.
Where can I get Bronkaid?
Bronkaid can be purchased without a prescription in most states, making it easily accessible.
The medication can be picked up from any pharmacy or drugstore like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, Meijer, Target, or HEB.
The exact price of Bronkaid will vary slightly depending on the store it is purchased from. Bronkaid is not quite over-the-counter.
It is stored behind the pharmacy counter, so you will have to ask a pharmacist to help you in purchasing the medication. This ensures that the medication is taken only by people who need it and that it is taken in the right way.
Bronkaid is available in 24 and 60 ct. packages. The medication is available as one dosage strength only that contains 25 mg ephedrine sulfate and 400 mg guaifenesin.
This makes taking Bronkaid quite simple. The usual dosage for adults and children above the age of 12 years is one capsule every four hours, without exceeding six capsules in 24 hours, unless otherwise specified by your doctor.
Children under 12 years of age should consult a doctor about whether it is safe to take Bronkaid for asthma.
The convenience of taking Bronkaid is that since it does not require a prescription in most states, you can simply walk in to your local neighborhood store to pick it up.
If you are travelling and have forgotten to pack enough Bronkaid to last you through the trip, it is easy to get more of your medication. It is crucial that asthma is managed regularly and without any gaps in your treatment plan.
What else should I know about Bronkaid?
- Bronkaid can be taken with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, taking it with food can help.
- Do not take Bronkaid with caffeine. Importantly, Bronkaid should not be taken with food or beverages that contain caffeine. This can lead to an increase in heart rate, which can dangerously increase the risk of a heart attack.
- Bronkaid should never be taken with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or if you have taken a medication containing a MAOI in the past two weeks. Drugs that contain MAOIs are usually used to treat psychiatric disorders like depression and they are also used to treat Parkinson’s disease. You should always inform your doctor or pharmacist of all medications that you take to prevent an unwanted drug interaction from occurring.
- Bronkaid should help alleviate asthma symptoms within 60 minutes of taking the medication. If symptoms do not resolve or get worse within this timeframe, seek medical help immediately.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should check with their doctor before taking Bronkaid.
- Never take an extra dose of Bronkaid out of schedule. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember or if it is close to your next dose skip the missed dose and take it as regularly scheduled.
Side Effects of Bronkaid
Taking Bronkaid is not usually associated with serious side effects that need emergency medical attention.
Rarely, Bronkaid can cause side effects that require immediate medical attention. These include:
- High blood pressure causing a headache, dizziness, or change in eyesight
- Chest pain or pressure due to a fast heartbeat
- Weakness on one side of the body along with drooping of one side of the face
- Feeling very nervous or excited
More common side effects that are usually minor include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling nervous or excited
In the case of an allergic reaction to Bronkaid, seek emergency help immediately. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, rash, and swelling of the face, lips, or tongue.
This is not an exhaustive list of side effects that Bronkaid can cause.
How can I save on Bronkaid?
The cost of purchasing Bronkaid is not very expensive. However, since this medication is not a prescription drug in most states, it is likely that health insurance plans may not cover it. Therefore, patients cannot save on Bronkaid in the traditional way.
Since asthma is a chronic disease that most often requires lifelong treatment, Bronkaid is not a medication that is purchased infrequently by asthma patients.
Pre-activated drug coupons are a great way to save on the cost of drugs like Bronkaid. You just have to print the coupon and take it in with you to get to the medication at a reduced price.
To find out exactly how much the discounted price of Bronkaid with the coupon applied will be at your preferred pharmacy, you can search for your pharmacy on the list here.
For example, the cost of purchasing Bronkaid with a discount coupon is $9.20 at both CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, whereas the current cost of purchasing it from Rite Aid is $8.20.
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Chris is one of the Co-Founders of Pharmacists.org. An entrepreneur at heart, Chris has been building and writing in consumer health for over 10 years. In addition to Pharmacists.org, Chris and his Acme Health LLC Brand Team own and operate Diabetic.org and the USA Rx Pharmacy Discount Card powered by Pharmacists.org.
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