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Long-Term Control Medications

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Long-term control medications are taken daily to control and prevent lung disease symptoms. These medicines should be taken every day to prevent asthma symptoms even when the asthma seems better. Long-term control medication is an important part of a treatment program for individuals with persistent asthma. These medicines are helpful in preventing symptoms but should not be used to relieve symptoms.

Learn more about several different types of long-term control asthma medications:

  • Anti-IgE
    Anti-IgE is a form of treatment for asthma management and allergic diseases. This medication may be added to medications in people with severe, persistent asthma.
  • Combination Medications 
    Combination medicines combine an inhaled steroid with a long-acting beta-agonist.  They improve symptoms of lung disease and increase lung function.
  • Inhaled Steroids
    Inhaled steroids are the most effective long-term control medicine currently available. They improve symptoms of lung disease and increase lung function.
  • Leukotriene Modifiers
    Leukotriene modifiers are long-term control asthma medications that reduce swelling inside the airways and relax smooth muscles around the airways. They are effective at improving asthma symptoms and lung function, but not to the same extent as inhaled steroids.
  • Steroid Pills and Syrups (Oral Steroids)
    Steroid pills and syrups reduce swelling and help other asthma medicines work better.
  • Theophylline
    Theophylline, a long-term asthma control medication, is used for asthma control, but not as the first choice of medications.


This information has been approved by Ronina Covar, MD and Ann Mullen, RN, MSN, CNS, AE-C (December, 2012).