Is Anyone Else Confused About All Those Inhalers?
Is Anyone Else Confused by all the inhalers prescribed for our lungs?
After a lengthy visit with my pulmonologist yesterday, I came away with a new set of medications and a whole lot of confusion!
This morning, I sat down and made list of all the drugs I use/have used, all the drugs we talked about yesterday, and several that have been suggested or mentioned here on Connect. Then I got busy and figured out what they are and why we use them.
Here is a summary…incomplete for sure, listing the classes of drugs with a short explanation of each class, and individual drug names (not the Brand Name or Combo name).
“Rescue” drugs – may be inhalers, or in some cases nebulizer solutions
Short Acting Beta Agonist (SABA) Opens airways quickly, relaxes airways, but doesn’t last long
• Albuterol (Common Brand Names: ProAir, Ventolin, Proventil)
• Levalbuterol (Xopenex)
Short Acting Muscarinic Agonist (SAMA) Like SABA, opens airways, or prevents bronchospasm. Less often used than SABA
• Irpatropium Bromide (Atrovent)
• Tiotropium Bromide (Spiriva)
Long Term or Daily Use Medications
Inhaled Steroids Direct dosage to lungs compared to oral steroids which are systemic. Reduces inflammation which helps keep airways open.
Inhaled Corticosteroid (ICS)
• Budosenide (Pulmicort, Entocort, Rhinocort)
• Mometasone (only in combinations)
Inhaled Glucosteroid (IGS)
• Fluticasone Propionate (Flovent, Allerflo)
Long Acting Beta Agonist (LABA) Acts to keep airways open – usually used in combination with an inhaled steroid
• Formoterol Fumarate (Foradil)
• Salmeterol Xinafoate (Serevent)
• Vilanterol (only in combinations)
Long Acting Muscarinic Agents (LAMA) Relaxes muscles around airways for 12-24 hours to reduce asthma attacks
• Tiotropium bromide (Spiriva)
• Umeclidinium bromide (Incruse)
Here is a summary of the most commonly prescribed Name Brand medications and what drugs are in each one.
Advair – Fluticasone propionate (IGS), Salmeterol (LABA)
AirDuo – Fluticasone propionate (IGS), Salmeterol (LABA)
Anoro- Umeclidineum (LAMA), Vilanterol (LABA)
Breo – Fluticasone Furoate(ICS), Vilanterol (LABA)
Combivent – Irpatropium Bromide (SAMA), Albuterol (SABA)
Dulera – Mometasone (ICS), Formoterol (LABA)
DuoNeb – Irpatropium Bromide (SAMA), Albuterol (SABA)
Symbicort – Budosenide (ICS), Formoterol (LABA)
Trelegy – Fluticasone (IGS), Umeclidinium (LAMA), Vilanterol
This is not a list of inhalers you should use, just a list of those that are often used for Asthma, Bronchiectasis & COPD – some of us have only one of these diseases, some of us have several.
I have attached a PDF file if you would like to print this list.