Asthma action plans

A written asthma action plan helps you recognise when your asthma is getting worse and what to do about it.

Asthma action plans help with:

  • better control asthma
  • fewer asthma attacks and hospital visits
  • fewer days off work or school
  • reduced reliever medication use.

Developing an asthma action plan with your doctor is important and should include a talk about your own circumstances including you asthma patterns and triggers, and current management.

Written asthma action plans are one of the most effective asthma management tools available. If you or someone you are responsible for has asthma, ask about developing an asthma action plan with your doctor.

Get copies of common action plan templates on our Sensitive Choice website.

If you're a health professional, visit our Asthma Action Plan Library

Your personal plan

Different action plans suit different people, but all plans should have the same key information and may be based off your symptoms or peak flow measurements. 

Plans for children are usually based on symptoms as this is just as effective as peak flow for indicating that asthma is getting worse.

Your personal asthma action plan should include:

  • a list of your usual asthma medicines, including doses
  • instructions on what to do when your asthma gets worse (including when to take extra doses or extra medicines, and when to contact a doctor or go to the emergency department)
  • what to do in an asthma emergency
  • the name of the doctor or other health professional who prepared the plan with you
  • the date.

What should I do with my action plan?

Once you and your doctor have completed your asthma action plan, it will be given to you to keep. You can use it to remind you of your usual medication dose, what triggers or symptoms to look out for, or to check what to do if you start to feel unwell.

It's a good idea to make copies to keep in your car, at work and at home. Action plans are available in many different formats, including on the Asthma Buddy mobile website. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a plan that suits you.

If you are the parent or carer of a child with asthma, you might like to get extra copies made of their asthma action plan so you can give one to their grandparents or regular carers. You should also give a copy to your child's school, pre-school and/or childcare facility.

Remember to regularly review your action plan with your doctor, as your asthma may change over time.

Action plans for anaphylaxis, allergic reactions and eczema

The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy has a range of action plans for anaphylaxis, allergic reactions and eczema on its website. Having an anaphylaxis action plan is particularly important for people at risk of serious allergic reactions.

Smartphone apps

There are a number of apps available to help support in managing your asthma and your overall health and wellbeing. 

Asthma Buddy

This mobile-only website gives you more flexibility and lets you input your asthma action plan into it so you know what day-to-day asthma medication to take. It also help you recognise if your asthma is getting worse and gives you advice on what to do about it.

To learn more about Asthma Buddy, visit here. If you are reading this on your mobile device, click here to sign up for Asthma Buddy.