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What are long-acting beta-agonist bronchodilators?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Long-acting beta-agonists relax and open the airways in the same way as short-acting beta agonists, but the effect lasts longer. Long-acting beta-agonists are often added to corticosteroids to keep asthma under control. They allow many people to use less steroid medication. Long-acting beta-agonists should never be used alone without other asthma medications and should not be used intermittently to treat asthma flare-ups, as short-acting beta-agonists often are.

Long-acting beta-agonists available in the US for treating asthma are salmeterol (Serevent) and formoterol (Foradil). Both are inhaled medications. Some products combine a long-acting beta-agonist and corticosteroid in a single inhaler, such as Advair, Breo Ellipta, Dulera, and Symbicort. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.