There are two kinds of Asthma Medicines: Controller Medicines for everyday use and Quick-Relief Medicines for use as needed.

Examples of Controller (EVERYDAY) medicines include:

  • Advair ®
  • AeroBid ®
  • Azmacort ®
  • Flovent ®
  • Pulmicort ®
  • QVar ®
  • Singulair ®

You should see your primary care provider at least every 3 months.

Examples of Quick-Relief medicines include:

  • Albuterol ®
  • MaxAir ®
  • Proventil ®
  • Ventolin ®
  • Xopenex ®

Quick-Relief (AS NEEDED) Medicines are needed when you have a cough, wheeze or difficulty breathing. They work fast, are a quick fix and should not be needed every day.

Call your primary care doctor if you need your Quick-Relief (AS NEEDED) medicines more than twice in a week or if you need to use it more than twice in one hour.

How to use an Inhaler and Spacer

  • Remove the caps from the inhaler and the spacer.
  • Check that nothing is inside the plastic case.
  • Attach the inhaler to the spacer.
  • Shake the inhaler (with spacer attached).
  • Breathe out normally.
  • Hold the inhaler in your mouth.
  • Press inhaler once to release the medicine just as you begin to inhale.
  • Continue to inhale slowly (over about 5 seconds) until your lungs are full.
  • Remove inhaler and hold breath for 10 seconds. Then breathe out normally.
  • Wait 1 - 3 minutes before taking additional puffs.
  • Rinse your mouth with water.

If you are unable to hold your breath, use a mask with spacer and take six breaths (in and out) through mouth for each puff.

How do I know if my child's asthma is under control?

If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, your child's asthma may be out of control:

  • Does your child have asthma symptoms during the day more than twice per week?
  • Does your child have asthma symptoms during the night more than twice per month?
  • Is your child using their rescue inhaler more than twice per week?
  • Is your child having difficulty with exercise because of their asthma?

The Asthma Control Test is a simple tool you can use to assess your child's asthma control. Go to