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short-acting bronchodilator

These are rescue drugs for asthma attacks. They expand bronchi rapidly, relieving the symptoms of wheezing and chest tightness, and improve breathing. They are inhaled or in aerosol form.

Common short-acting bronchodilator

Inhalers (usually blue)

Aerosol form

Metered dose inhaler

Metered dose inhaler

Ventolin (Salbutamol)

Bricanyl (Terbutaline)



Salamol (Salbutamol)



Atrovent (Ipratropium)



(Ipratropium / Salbutamol)




  • Use short-acting bronchodilators only when needed or recommended by doctors.
  • These drugs provide immediate relief but they are not anti-inflammatory. Do not rely too much on them and neglect the use of preventive medicine.
  • If you use a short-acting bronchodilator as a quick relief for acute attacks three times or more a week, this means that your asthma is not under control. Please see your doctor as soon as you can.
  • Don’t leave home without your short-acting bronchodilator. Use it as rescue drug in case of any attacks.
  • Only patients taking oral medicine will experience side effects such as shaky hands and racing heart.