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What are short-acting bronchodilators?

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Short-acting bronchodilators are called "quick-acting," "reliever," or "rescue" medications. These bronchodilators relieve acute asthma symptoms or attacks very quickly by opening the airways. The rescue medications are best for treating sudden asthma symptoms. The action of inhaled bronchodilators starts within minutes after inhalation and lasts for two to four hours. Short-acting bronchodilators are also used before exercise to prevent exercise-induced asthma.

Short-acting bronchodilators can be used in an asthma nebulizer in the form of a liquid to treat an asthma attack at home.

Overuse of short-acting bronchodilators, whether in asthma inhalers, in tablets, or in liquid, is a sign of uncontrolled asthma that needs better treatment. If you need to use your short-acting bronchodilators more than twice a week, talk with your doctor about improving your asthma control therapy.

SOURCES: National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Inhaled Medication with a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)."  Asthma Society of Canada: "How to Use Your Inhaler." Science Daily: "New Asthma Inhaler Propellant Effective, but Costlier." Children's Hospital Boston: "Allergy Treatment." Boehringer Ingelheim: "US FDA Expands Approval of Tiotropium Respimat® for Maintenance Treatment of Asthma in Children." FDA. Prescribing Information: Spiriva Respimat.
American Academy of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology: "Asthma" and "Allergy and Asthma Drug Guide."






Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on May 12, 2019

SOURCES: National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Inhaled Medication with a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)."  Asthma Society of Canada: "How to Use Your Inhaler." Science Daily: "New Asthma Inhaler Propellant Effective, but Costlier." Children's Hospital Boston: "Allergy Treatment." Boehringer Ingelheim: "US FDA Expands Approval of Tiotropium Respimat® for Maintenance Treatment of Asthma in Children." FDA. Prescribing Information: Spiriva Respimat.
American Academy of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology: "Asthma" and "Allergy and Asthma Drug Guide."






Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on May 12, 2019

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What are some short-acting bronchodilator inhalers available in the United States?

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