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There are many medications and types of medications used to treat asthma. Click on one of the sections below to find out more about them.

Inhaled asthma medications work well and have fewer side effects than medications taken in tablet form. Find out more about inhalers, including dry powder inhalers (like the Diskus).

Long-term controllers
This type of medication is used daily to keep asthma under control even when there are no symptoms. Learn more about this group of medications (like Flovent and Singulair).

This type of medication is used when there are asthma symptoms. Needing to use this type of medication too often can mean that your asthma is not under control.

Single maintenance and reliever therapy (SMART)

For people ages 4 and older with moderate to severe persistent asthma, the preferred treatment is a single inhaler that contains an inhaled corticosteroid and the bronchodilator formoterol. This should be used as both a daily asthma controller and for quick-relief.

Medication by name
Find a list of medications, and read detailed information about the ones you are interested in.

Primatene Mist

This over-the-counter inhaler is only FDA approved for ages 12 and up, and is not a replacement for prescription asthma treatments. Asthma is not a do-it-yourself disease, people with asthma should be under the care of a health care professional. Find out why asthma doctors think Primatene Mist may not be the best medicine. Check with your doctor before using this drug.

Spacers and valved-holding chambers
How to use asthma medicines the right way is almost as important as using them at all. Learn all about the importance of spacers and valved-holding chambers, and the best ways to use them. Learn how to access spacers.

Some people with asthma use a nebulizer, a machine that makes a mist of the medicine to treat their asthma.

Asthma Care Coverage Report
The American Lung Association tracks seven areas of guidelines-based asthma care coverage in state Medicaid programs.

Alternative medications

Have you heard about an alternative medication to treat your asthma, but wonder if it's too good to be true or if it really works? Read our information on alternative treatments and talk to your doctor before you try it!


Sometimes asthma symptoms are triggered by respiratory illnesses. When this is the case, antibiotics may be prescribed to clear the bacterial infection. This will bring down the amount of swelling and mucus that block the airways. Antibiotics will not help treat asthma unless it is the type that is triggered by a bacterial respiratory infection.