Asthma Management

There are two kinds of Asthma Medicines: Controller Medicines and Quick-Relief Medicines.

How to use an Inhaler and Spacer.

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 ®

How to use an Inhaler and Spacer

  • 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.

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