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A combination treatment for some lung diseases like asthma combines an inhaled steroid with a long-acting beta agonist. The inhaled steroid prevents and reduces swelling inside the airways.  The long-acting beta-agonist opens the airways in the lungs by relaxing smooth muscle around the airways.  In studies, a combination medicine like this reduced asthma symptoms and improved lung function. It is a convenient way to take these two medicines, which are both helpful in controlling, moderate to severe persistent asthma.

Common combination asthma medications include:

Medicine name

How the medicine works

How the medicine is used

  • Advair® (combination of fluticasome and salmeterol)
  • Dulera® (combination of mometasone and formoterol)
  • Symbicort® (combination of budesonide and formoterol)
  • Prevents inflammation and reduces swelling inside the airways
  • Opens the airways in the lung by relaxing smooth muscle around the airways
  • Available as an MDI and dry powder inhaler
  • Usually prescribed to take 2 times every day
  • Talk with your doctor about side effects.

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