Creating Asthma Friendly Environments

Asthma Medications

Asthma medicines don’t cure asthma. They do help prevent and relieve asthma symptoms. The two main types of asthma medications are relievers and controllers. Both are important but work in different ways to control asthma.


  • Reduce and prevent inflammation and slow the production of mucus in the airways
  • Not used in asthma emergencies because they do not open the airways quickly enough
  • Typically taken twice each day (morning and night) and are therefore not usually needed at school or during daytime activities but used on a daily basis at home

Relievers (usually blue):

  • Work quickly (five to ten minutes) by relaxing the muscles that wrap around the airways to open up the airways and gives quick relief from asthma symptoms
  • Used when needed to relieve asthma symptoms
  • Provide relief from symptoms for four to six hours
  • Must always be quickly accessible in case of asthma emergencies

Click here for a series of videos on how to properly use inhalers.