- Asthma Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Asthma Quiz!
- Asthma Myths and Facts
- Patient Comments: Asthma Medications - Experience
- Patient Comments: Asthma Medications - Inhalers and Medications
- Patient Comments: Asthma Medications - Side Effects
- Find a local Asthma & Allergy Specialist in your town
- Who is a candidate for asthma medication?
- What are controller medications for asthma (long-term control)?
- What are rescue medications for asthma (short-term control)?
- What are the different forms of medications (pills, inhalers, nebulizers) to treat asthma?
- What are the specific controller medications for asthma?
- What are over-the-counter (OTC) asthma medications?
- What are asthma medication guidelines?
- What are the potential risks and side effects of drugs used to treat asthma?
- What are the various kinds of asthma medications for toddlers and children?
- What kinds of asthma medications are safe to use in pregnancy?
Quick GuideAsthma Attack Signs, Treatments, and Prevention
What are the different forms of medications (pills, inhalers, nebulizers) to treat asthma?
Many first-line controller and rescue medications are administered through asthma inhalers. Some of these inhalers are called metered-dose inhalers in which the inhaler itself propels the medication into the lungs. Other inhalers are activated by patients taking a breath, and these are called dry powder inhalers or breath-actuated inhalers. Different types of inhalers may work better for different individuals, but both types of inhalers are effective for asthma symptom control if used correctly.
Nebulizers are machines that allow asthma medications to be delivered in an aerosolized form, and the medications are then inhaled through a mouthpiece or mask. Nebulizers are often used for children who are unable to perform the proper technique required for inhalers. Some asthma medications are also available as pills. There are currently two injectable medications for asthma (omalizumab [Xolair] and mepolizumab [Nucala] see below), and these are administered in a health-care setting only. There is also an intravenous medication for asthma (reslizumab [Cinqair]; see below). Within the near future, there will likely be additional asthma medications that can be administered either by injection or intravenously.