What are inhaled short-acting beta-agonists?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Inhaled short-acting beta-agonists relax the muscles that control your airways to open them up for better air flow. They are sometimes precribed for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Several inhaled short-acting beta-agonists are available in the US. These include albuterol (Accuneb, Proair, Proventil, Ventolin), levalbuterol (Xopenex), and pirbuterol (Maxair). Some other products combine albuterol with ipratropium, a different kind of bronchodilator drug, in a single inhaler (Combivent, DuoNeb).

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