Can medication treat breathing problems in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Ventilation machines are the primary treatment for breathing problems in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, some medications can play supplementary roles. Expectorants can make it easier to cough up fluids that are obstructing breathing. Another class of medications can help cut down on drool, which can cause choking. Sometimes bronchiodialators are prescribed to increase the flow of air to and from the lungs; however, these drugs do not treat the underlying problem behind ALS and they may not be very helpful.

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