Commonly called long-acting relievers or long-acting bronchodilators. 

Includes medications such as Oxis, Serevent, Spiriva.

HOW DO LONG-ACTING RELIEVERS HELP ASTHMA?

Long-acting relievers work to relax the muscles around the airways. For people with asthma, these medicines must ONLY be used in combination with an inhaled corticosteroid. 

Long-acting relievers last much longer than short-acting relievers like salbutamol or terbutaline, but most don’t work as fast. They should NOT be used in place of your prescribed reliever or dual purpose reliever.  

Oxis and Serevent last approximately 12 hours, so are usually prescribed twice daily. Spiriva lasts up to 24 hours and is usually prescribed once daily (2 sprays make 1 dose). 

HOW DO YOU USE LONG-ACTING RELIEVERS? 

Using your long-acting reliever inhaler properly is vital to get the medication to your lungs where it is needed. This is true no matter what type of inhaler you are using.  

To make sure you are using your inhaler correctly see: https://asthma.org.au/about-asthma/medicines-and-devices/techniques/ 

WHY MIGHT YOU NEED A LONG-ACTING RELIEVER? 

Long-acting relievers are called ‘add-ons’ because they should only be added to your asthma treatment, not used alone or as the first option. 

If your preventer is not available as a combination preventer (such as ciclesonide) and you need to step up your treatment, your GP might add on Oxis or Serevent as a long-acting reliever. In this situation it is very important to continue to take your preventer, Oxis and Serevent should not be used for asthma without a preventer. 

If you have severe asthma and already take a combination preventer, your GP might add-on an extra long-acting reliever like Spiriva for extra relief.  

If you have a combination preventer that has 3 drugs contained, you are already taking an extra long-acting reliever. 

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF LONG-ACTING RELIEVERS 

Oxis and Serevent:  

  • Tremor 
  • agitation 
  • restlessness 
  • headache 
  • dizziness 
  • fast/irregular heart rate 
  • muscle cramps 
  • sleep disturbances 

Spiriva: 

  • Dry mouth: this is usually mild 
  • sore mouth, gums, or throat 
  • swollen, red, sore tongue 
  • oral thrush 
  • hoarse voice 
  • cough 

Always inform your doctor about any side effects you experience.