Bronchodilators - Long-acting Beta-2 Agonists (LABAs)


Drug names:

  • Salmeterol
  • Formoterol
  • Vilanterol - once a day
  • Indacaterol - once a day

Used regularly, they can help to control breathlessness in asthma and COPD by keeping airways open and add to the effectiveness of inhaled steroids in asthma.

  • Duration of action lasts around 12 hours so twice daily dose is recommended.
  • Most effective in control of moderate to severe disease.
  • May be effective in management of symptoms overnight due to their prolonged duration.
  • They do not address any underlying inflammation. Therefore LABAs should be used with an inhaled corticosteroid in a combination inhaler for treatment of asthma.(using LABA without inhaled corticosteroid can be dangerous for asthmatic patients) LABAs can be given without inhaled corticosteroids for other conditions such as COPD.