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Asthma Action Plan

What is an asthma action plan?

An asthma action plan is a written plan, customised for every asthmatic patient. The action plan is developed and designed by the doctor to help asthmatic patients to control their asthma. Action plans may differ from patient to patient depending on severity.

The asthma action plan may need to be reviewed and updated from time to time so that any changes in asthma medication is recorded according to the asthma control.

What is in the plan?

The asthma action plan will tell the patient what to do during asthma attacks. It contains specific written instructions on:

  • The name of the medicines and how to take them.
  • When to take rescue medication.
  • How much of medication to take in different circumstances.
  • When to call the doctor or go to the nearest clinic or hospital for treatment.
  • Patient’s personal best of peak flow reading.
  • Doctor’s name and phone number.

Step 1 : When your child is well?

  • Has good breathing.
  • Has no cough.
  • Has no wheezing.
  • Can play/do daily activities without restriction.

Your action is:

  • Give preventer medicine as prescribed by doctor.
  • Ensure Peak flow reading more than 80% of personal best.

Step 2 : When your child is not well?

Your child is not well when he/she has increasing symptoms of:

  • Cough.
  • Wheeze.
  • Chest tightness.
  • Waking-up at night due to coughing.

And peak flow reading is 50% – 80% of personal best. Your action is:

  • Continue preventer medication as prescribed.
  • Take reliever medication once and as required. Your child may need up to 4 hourly medication depending on the improvement of symptoms.
  • If symptoms improve, continue with step 1.

Step 3 : When your child gets worse?

  • The symptoms are not relieved with the treatment in step 2.
  • The cough and wheeze get worse.
  • Difficulty in breathing with flaring around the nostrils.
  • The reliever medications are needed more frequently than every 4 hours.
  • Peak flow reading is less than 50% of personal best.

your action is:

  • Continue preventer medication as prescribed.
  • Continue reliever medication 4 hourly..
  • To take a dose of oral prednisalone as prescribed
  • See doctor immediately.

What to do during emergency?

Give 4-6 puffs of reliever medication. The child may require 4-6 puffs of reliever medication every 20 minutes to a maximum dose of 12 puffs before bringing the child to the nearest clinic or emergency department.


Last reviewed : 26 April 2012
Content Writer : Dr. Norrashidah Hj. Abd Wahab
: Dr. Nor Mahani Harun
Reviewer : Dr. Norzila bt. Mohamed Zainudin