Updated 16 September 2014

Types of medication delivered through inhalers

Five types of medication can be delivered though inhalers and spacers.


Five types of medication can be delivered though inhalers and spacers:

  • Short-acting bronchodilators, like salbutamol. These are used to give immediate relief of shortness of breath.
  • Long-acting bronchodilators, like salmeterol and formoterol. They relieve symptoms for up to 12 hours.
  • Corticosteroids like beclomethasone, diproprionate, budesonide and flutecasone. These are used to prevent the inflammation which can lead to asthma attacks.
  • Cromolyn or nedocromil. They are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication used to prevent asthma attacks. They tend to be used in some children and in cases of exercise-induced asthma.
  • Combination of a corticosteroid and a long-acting bronchodilator – a recent newcomer to the market.
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