Download the Asthma Medications – What You Need to Know PDF.
There are two main types of asthma medications: quick-relief (or reliever) and long-term control (or controllers). Talk to your health care provider to determine the medication(s) you should use.
Quick-relief Medication (Reliever)
Who should have it?
- Everyone with asthma should be prescribed quick-relief medication by a health care provider
- Carry it with you at all times
How does it work?
- Relieves the squeezing of the muscles around the airways
- Works within 10 to 15 minutes of use
When should it be used?
- Upon first warning sign
What are the side effects?
- Rapid heart rate, shaky hands, jittery feeling
- Symptoms go away a half-hour after using your medication
What are some common types?
- Pro Air®
- Label your quick-relief medication with “QR”
- Use a spacer with your quick-relief inhaler so the medication gets deeper into your lungs
Long-Term Controller Medication
Who Should Have It?
- Only those with a prescription
How Does It Work?
- Prevents swelling and mucus build up in the airways
- Makes airways less sensitive to triggers
When Should It be Used?
- Every day
- Even if you do not have symptoms
What are the Side Effects?
- Thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth (rinse your mouth with water and spit to avoid thrush)
What are Some Common Types?
- Do not store in the bathroom (humidity can make medication clump)
- Use a spacer with your long-term controller inhaler so the medication gets deeper into your lungs
This content is provided for informational purposes only and does not substitute for medical advice.