Medicines for quick relief of the narrowed
bronchial tubes caused by
asthma include short-acting beta2-agonists. These
medicines relieve sudden increases of symptoms (
quickly. But overuse may be harmful.
Overuse of short-acting
beta2-agonists has been associated with worsening asthma and increased risk of
death.footnote 1 People who have severe asthma usually are the ones
at greatest risk for illness and death from asthma. They may be taking higher
doses of short-acting beta2-agonists to control their symptoms instead of
increasing the use of anti-inflammatory medicine such as inhaled
People who overuse
short-acting beta2-agonists may feel their asthma is under control when, in
fact, inflammation in the airways is becoming worse, putting them in danger of
a severe, life-threatening attack (
May delay medical care and increase your chances
of having a severe asthma attack that can be life-threatening.
decrease the future effectiveness of these medicines.
early narrowing of bronchial tubes without treating long-term inflammation.
In general, you may need more long-term treatment if you are
using short-acting beta2-agonists on more than 2 days a week (except before
exercise). Talk to your doctor if you are using your quick-relief medicine this
often. Frequent use of quick-relief medicines may mean that your symptoms and
inflammation are not well controlled.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2007). Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. Available online: //www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/asthma/asthgdln.htm.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the
how we develop our content .