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Long-Acting Beta Agonists: Uses, Common Brands, and Safety Info

Long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) are drugs used for asthma and COPD, opening up the airways for easier breathing. They are often used with inhaled corticosteroids and should not be used as rescue medication. Common LABA brands include Serevent, Foradil, and Breo Ellipta. Safety considerations include potential side effects and the need for regular follow-up appointments.

Long-Acting Beta Agonists

Long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) are a class of drugs commonly used in the treatment of respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These medications work by opening up the airways, allowing for easier breathing and improved lung function. LABAs are typically inhaled and provide long-lasting relief from symptoms, making them useful for managing chronic respiratory conditions.


LABAs are primarily used as maintenance therapy to prevent and control symptoms of asthma and COPD. They are often prescribed in conjunction with inhaled corticosteroids to provide comprehensive treatment for these conditions. The combination of LABAs and corticosteroids can effectively reduce inflammation and relax the airway muscles, resulting in improved breathing and reduced risk of exacerbations. In addition to their use in asthma and COPD, LABAs may also be prescribed for other respiratory conditions such as exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). EIB is a temporary narrowing of the airways that occurs during or after physical activity and can cause symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. LABAs can help prevent or minimize these symptoms, allowing individuals to engage in physical activity without respiratory difficulties.

Common Brands

There are several commonly prescribed LABAs available in the market. Among them are: 1. Salmeterol (brand name: Serevent) 2. Formoterol (brand names: Foradil, Perforomist, Oxis) 3. Arformoterol (brand name: Brovana) 4. Indacaterol (brand name: Arcapta) 5. Vilanterol (found in combination products like Breo Ellipta and Anoro Ellipta) It is important to note that brand names may vary depending on the country and region, and different LABAs may have specific prescribing guidelines.


As with any medication, there are certain safety considerations to keep in mind when using LABAs. LABAs should not be used as a rescue medication for acute symptoms or as a monotherapy for asthma since they do not provide immediate relief from sudden symptoms. Instead, they are meant to be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan under the guidance of a healthcare professional. It is essential to follow the prescribed dosage and instructions for use carefully. Overuse of LABAs can potentially lead to adverse effects such as increased heart rate, palpitations, and nervousness. Regular follow-up appointments with the healthcare provider are necessary to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment and assess any potential side effects. In rare cases, LABAs have been associated with an increased risk of severe asthma exacerbations, so it is important to be vigilant for signs of worsening symptoms while using these medications. If there is a lack of response or worsening of symptoms, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to evaluate the treatment plan and consider alternative options. In summary, long-acting beta agonists are a class of medications commonly used in the management of asthma, COPD, and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. They provide long-lasting relief by opening up the airways and can be used in conjunction with inhaled corticosteroids for comprehensive treatment. It is important to use LABAs as directed by a healthcare professional and be aware of potential side effects or worsening symptoms. Regular communication with the provider is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the treatment plan.

List of Long-Acting Beta Agonists