Asthma controller medicines help prevent asthma symptoms when taken every day as prescribed. These preventive asthma medicines include several different categories. Each works in unique ways, and some are more appropriate for certain levels of asthma severity.
Inhaled steroids, also known as inhaled corticosteroids or ICS, have become the mainstay of asthma treatment for persistent asthma in children and adults. They are safe, effective and make a significant difference in the quality of life for people who have asthma.
Leukotriene modifiers are asthma controller medications that are sometimes used in combination with, or instead of, inhaled steroids for people whose asthma is moderate to severe. They are sometimes called leukotriene antagonists.
Long acting beta agonists, or LABAs, are asthma medicines that control or prevent asthma symptoms and asthma attacks. These are bronchodilators whose effects last for 12 hours or more. Their recommended use is in combination with inhaled steroids.
Immunomodulators are a new class of asthma medications that are used as an add-on therapy in people who have severe persistent asthma with allergies that has not responded adequately to inhaled steroids. Immunomodulators are a type of antibody.