Treatments & Managing Asthma

Your doctor may give you some medicine to help you control your asthma.


Controller Medications

Controller medications help prevent the asthma symptoms from happening. Controller medications take longer to work and need to be taken every day.


These are some of the more common controller medicines:

  • Pulmicort
  • Advair
  • Flovent
  • Asmanex
  • Azmacort
  • Aerobid
  • Qvar

Controller Inhalers

Inhaler

When to Prime

How to Prime

Advair HFA
(fluticasone propionate
and salmeterol)

Before first use, when inhaler has not been used for 4 weeks, or when the
inhaler has been dropped.

Release 4 sprays into the air away from face. Shake well before each spray.

Alvesco
(ciclesonide)

Before first use and when inhaler has not been used for 10 days.

Release 3 sprays into the air away from face. Shake well before each spray.

Azmacort
(triamcinolone acetonide)

Before first use and when inhaler has not been used for 3 days.

Release 2 sprays into the air away from face. Shake well before each spray.

Combivent
(ipratropium bromide and albuterol
sulfate)

Before first use and when inhaler has not been used for more than 24
hours.

Release 3 sprays into the air away from face. Shake well before each spray.

Flovent HFA
(fluticasone propionate)

Before first use and when inhaler has not been used for 7 days.

Before first use: release 4 sprays into the air away from face.
When inhaler has not been used for 7 days: release 1 spray into the air away from face. Shake well before each spray.

QVAR
(beclomethasone dipropionate)

Before first use and when inhaler has not been used for more than 10 days.

Release 2 sprays into the air away from face. Shake well before each spray.

Symbicort
(budesonide and formoterol)

Before first use, when inhaler has not been used for 2 weeks, and when the
inhaler has been dropped.

Release 2 sprays into the air away from face. Shake well before each spray.



Rescue Medications

A rescue medicine works fast to stop the symptoms of an asthma attack after it has started. These medicines do a really good job to stop the coughing and wheezing, but the medicine does not keep working for long.


These are some of the more common rescue medicines:

  • Albuterol (Proventil or Ventolin)
  • Pro Air
  • Maxair
  • Xopenex


Since both types of medications work differently, it is very important to use your medications just like the doctor tells you and what is written on the Asthma Action Plan.




Rescue Inhalers

Inhaler

When to Prime

How to Prime

MaxAir
Autohaler
(pirbuterol acetate)

Before first use and when inhaler has not been used for 2 days.

Release 2 sprays into the air away from face using the "test fire" strip as directed. Shake well before each spray.

ProAir HFA
(albuterol sulfate)

Before first use and when inhaler has not been used for 2 weeks.

Release 3 sprays into the air away from face. Shake well before each spray.

Proventil HFA
(albuterol sulfate)

Before first use and when inhaler has not been used for more than 2 weeks.

Release 4 sprays into the air away from face. Shake well before each spray.

Ventolin HFA
(albuterol sulfate)

Before first use, when inhaler has not been used for 2 weeks, and when the inhaler has been dropped.

Release 4 sprays into the air away from face. Shake well before each spray.

Xopenex HFA
(levalbuterol)

Before first use and when inhaler has not been used for 3 days.

Release 4 test sprays into the air away from face. Shake well before each spray.

Developed as a service of the Albemarle Pediatric Asthma Coalition

March 2009 by Matthew Wiesmore, PharmD Candidate and Huyla G. Coker, PharmD
UNC/ECSU Doctor of Pharmacy Partnership Program