Asthma Medications

This page includes an overview of asthma medications, including types of asthma medications and tips for using medications.


  • Short-term relief medicines control the symptoms of an asthma attack. If you need to use your short-term relief medicines more and more, you should visit your healthcare provider to see if you need a different medicine. 
  • Controller medicines help you have fewer and less severe asthma attacks. 
  • Combination medicines are used for both short-term relief and control. They are recommended in current asthma guidelines.
  • Biologics are treatments that are given by injection or infusion to prevent swelling in the airways.

Not everyone with asthma takes the same medicine. Some medicines are inhaled and some are taken as a pill. If you are ever confused about your prescription, make sure to ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. 


  • Take your medicine as prescribed to help you avoid an attack. 
  • Asthma medicines can have side effects, but most side effects are mild and brief. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about the side effects of your medicines. 
  • Make an Asthma Action Plan so that you know what to do in response to your own symptoms. Decide who should have a copy of your plan and where they should keep it. Asthma action plans are a key part of successful asthma  management. 
  • Take your long-term control medicine even when you don’t have symptoms.

Learn more at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation’s "How Is Asthma Treated" web page.