Using an Asthma Action Plan

Sit down with your doctor to develop an Asthma Action Plan. A plan can be very helpful, especially during an asthma flare-up.

Your Asthma Action Plan can help you decide:

  • What medicines to take

  • How much to take

  • When to take them

  • When and how to get help

Your Asthma Action Plan should include:

  • Emergency phone numbers

  • Flare-up symptoms

See your doctor every 3 to 6 months for an asthma checkup.

Sharing your plan

You may want to give a copy to friends, relatives, teachers, coaches, neighbors and babysitters so that they can help you if you have a flare-up.

An Asthma Action Plan may use 4 color "zones" to help you decide what to do:
Green Zone (Doing Well)
  • Your breathing is good
  • Avoid your asthma triggers
  • Take your controller medicines every day to help prevent flare-ups
  • Yellow Zone (Symptoms Starting)
  • First signs of a cold, repeated cough, waking at night from cough
  • Take your rescue (quick-relief) medicine to keep symptoms from getting worse
  • If symptoms do not go away or return in 4 hours, call your doctor (See Orange Zone instructions)
  • Continue taking your controller medicines
  • Orange Zone (In Trouble)
  • Symptoms return too quickly (not improving): relief from quick-relief medicine doesn’t last 4 hours; vomiting after coughing
  • Quick-relief medicine is needed 4 or more times in a single day
  • Take your Orange Zone medications
  • If you cannot reach your doctor and symptoms continue, go to an Urgent Care or Emergency Room
  • Red Zone (In Danger)
  • Symptoms include hard, fast breathing (gasping); rib and neck muscles show when breathing; lips and fingernail beds turn gray or blue
  • On the way to the ER, take your Red Zone medications!
  • Download an Asthma Action Plan form