There are two kinds of Asthma Medicines: Controller Medicines and Quick-Relief Medicines.
Controller (EVERYDAY) Medicines
- Work slowly!
- PREVENT asthma symptoms
- You may not feel it working
- These medicines work best if taken EVERYDAY
Examples of Controller medicines include:
- Advair ®
- AeroBid ®
- Azmacort ®
- Flovent ®
- Pulmicort ®
- QVar ®
- Singulair ®
Quick-Relief (AS NEEDED) Medicines
- Work fast!
- Relax breathing tubes and make it easier to breathe
- Use as needed when you have cough, wheeze, or difficulty breathing
- Are only a "quick fix" for asthma
- Should not be needed everyday
Call your primary care doctor if you need your Quick-Relief (AS NEEDED) medicines more than twice in a week or if you need to use it more than twice in one hour.
You should see your primary care provider at least every 3 months.
Examples of Quick-Relief medicines include:
- Albuterol ®
- MaxAir ®
- Proventil ®
- Ventolin ®
- Xopenex ®
- Remove the caps from the inhaler and the spacer.
Check that nothing is inside the plastic case.
Attach the inhaler to the spacer.
Shake the inhaler (with spacer attached).
Breathe out normally.
Hold the inhaler in your mouth.
Press inhaler once to release the medicine just as you begin to inhale.
Continue to inhale slowly (over about 5 seconds) until your lungs are full.
Remove inhaler and hold breath for 10 seconds. Then breathe out normally.
Wait 1 - 3 minutes before taking additional puffs.
Rinse your mouth with water.
If you are unable to hold your breath, use a mask with spacer and take six breaths (in and out) through mouth for each puff.