Combination Preventers

Other names: Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) plus long-acting bronchodilator or combination therapy inhalers.   

Includes medicines such as Atectura, Breo, DuoResp, Enerzair, Fluticasone and Salmeterol Cipla, Flutiform, Fostair, Seretide, Symbicort, Trelegy, Trimbow. See generic names here: Active Ingredients Guide for Asthma Medication.


Combination preventers contain two or three asthma medicines in combination: an inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) plus one or two long-acting bronchodilator medicines.  

  • Corticosteroid helps make the airways less sensitive, reduces redness and swelling and helps to dry up excess mucus.  
  • Long-acting bronchodilators relax tight airway muscles for up to 12 hours (some up to 24 hours).   

When combination preventers are taken regularly they will reduce asthma symptoms or flare-ups. It may take a few weeks of consistent use to see signs of improvement.  

Some combination preventers work within a few minutes and others take up to 30 minutes. Make sure you know which one you have been prescribed.   

If your asthma is not being well controlled by your preventer treatment (ICS only), your doctor might ‘step up’ treatment by prescribing a combination preventer.  

Combination preventers may be prescribed for people who have frequent asthma symptoms despite using their regular single preventer. If you use a combination preventer regularly and correctly, and still experience asthma symptoms, speak to your doctor. You might benefit from add-on medicines. 


Remember to lower the chance of side effects gargle, rinse and spit after using your preventer inhaler.

Side effects of combination preventers may include:

  • Head/Mood
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Agitation
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Restlessness
  •  Throat/Mouth
    • Hoarse voice
    • Sore throat
    • Oral/mouth thrush (sore, yellowish raised patches in the mouth)
    • Irritated tongue
    • Coughing
  • Muscles/Joints
    • Feeling shaky (tremors)
    • Muscle cramps