Introduction: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease and is a major cause of disability and health resource utilisation, and reduces quality of life. Uncontrolled asthma is often associated with poor medication adherence or suboptimal therapy resulting in an increased risk of exacerbations and higher associated medical costs. Aim: Therefore the present study was conducted with an aim to evaluate various factors, reasons and pattern of nonadherence to therapy in bronchial asthma. Material and methods: It was a questionnaire based, study which included adult patients above 18 years of age with the diagnosis of bronchial asthma for more than 1year and patients receiving antiasthmatic therapy for over six months. All patients were interviewed using a standard interview schedule. Patient was said to be compliant if he/she had taken more than 80% of the prescribed medicines during the study period. All the prescription drugs that the patients were taking were noted and also if they had suffered from any adverse effects. Results: Total of 100 patients were studied with majority of the patients 42% in the age group of 21 to 40 years and male: female ratio was 1.9:1. The most commonly used antiasthmatic as prescribed was a leukotriene antagonist (montelukast). We observed 61 (60%) patients to be regular to the drug therapy and did not miss a single dose while the remaining 39% were found to be non-adherant. It was observed that the most common factor for non adherance was patients fear about side effects of the medications (21%), followed by feeling of well-being on therapy (19%), multiple drugs and increased frequencies of daily intake (16%) then the high cost of the therapy (15%). Self medication was found in 18% of patients. Conclusion: Nonadherence to therapy is a common problem in the management of patients with severe asthma. Patients education should also be given importance so as to reduce various related factors of non adherence .To further elucidate the association between adherence and risk of asthma exacerbations, more well designed studies with robust and objective methods for assessment are required.
Key words: Adherence, non adherence, bronchial asthma, risk factors.