Section 4:

Key messages
  • The diagnosis of asthma is a clinical one, supported by objective tests that influence the probability of asthma but do not prove a diagnosis1,2
  • Asthma control, including a risk assessment for future asthma, should be assessed at every asthma review, at least annually1,2
  • Good asthma control is associated with little or no need for SABA. Anyone prescribed more than one SABA inhaler device a month should be assessed urgently and steps taken to improve control1,2
  • In all patients except those with infrequent short-lived wheeze, regular low dose ICS (with SABA as required) is the recommended first line treatment1,2
  • All patients with asthma (and/or their parents or carers) should be provided with a personalised asthma action plan. For adults, consider quadrupling the dose of ICS to abort an asthma attack1,2
  • Adults whose asthma is uncontrolled on medium-dose ICS + LABA +/- LTRA should be referred for specialist care1,2

Job code: UK/RES-19014b DOP: March 2020


  1. British Thoracic Society/Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (BTS/SIGN) British Guideline on the Management of Asthma; 24 July 2019. [Accessed March 2020].
  2. Primary Care Respiratory Society (PCRS) UK briefing document: Asthma guidelines; November 2017. [Accessed March 2020].