From: [email protected] (Patricia Rose Wrean)
    Archive-name: medicine/asthma/medications
    Posting-Frequency: monthly
    Last-modified: 19 Feb 1995, 1996
    Version: 3.5
     FAQ:  Asthma Medications
    This FAQ attempts to list the most commonly prescribed medications
    for the prevention and treatment of asthma, both in the U.S. and
    overseas.  It is maintained by Patricia Wrean <[email protected]>.  
    The following information came from two sources:  most of the
    drugs available in the U.S. are listed in the 1994 Physician's
    Desk Reference (full citation at end of post); the remainder
    of the information, including those medications available 
    overseas, came from the many helpful contributors listed at the 
    end of the post.  If you do not wish your name to be included
    in the contributors list, please state that explicitly when
    contributing.  Also, if I have left anyone's name out, please let 
    me know so that I may include it.
    ** Although the maintainer and contributors do their best to keep
       this FAQ updated, it is by no means an authoritative work.  
       Asthma is a serious illness requiring supervision by a 
       physician.  Please do not attempt to change your medication
       regime without consulting your doctor.
    Corrections, additions, and comments are requested; please include 
    the name of the country in which the medication is available, as 
    it isn't always obvious from the user-id.  If the drug is available 
    as an inhaler, please specify it as a MDI or one of the other types 
    mentioned in the glossary, or add a description of the inhaler if 
    it is not present already.  
    Abbreviations are explained in the glossary at the end of the table.  
    If the medication is followed by a country name in brackets, then
    to the best of my knowledge it is only available in that country, 
    and not in the U.S. 
    If the drug is available in a nasal form for allergies, I've 
    included it for completeness.  I haven't covered oral steroids,
    only inhaled, or antihistamines at the present time.
    + = added since last version
    & = updated/corrected since last version
    Type of drug          
             Chemical name         Brand name       Comments 
    ----------------------         ----------       --------
             cromolyn sodium       Intal            available as MDI,
               (called sodium                         capsules for Spinhaler,
               cromoglycate                           neb soln
               in UK)              Nasalcrom        nasal spray
             nedocromil            Tilade           MDI
                                   Tilade Mint      MDI (UK)
             sodium cromoglycate -- see cromolyn sodium
      steroidal (inhaled) 
             beclomethasone        Beclovent        MDI
               dipropionate        Beclodisk        diskhaler (Can)
                                   Becloforte       MDI (Can, Sw), larger
                                                      dose than Beclovent
                                   Becotide         MDI (UK)
                                   Beconase         nasal MDI
                                   Beconase AQ      nasal spray
                                   Respocort        MDI, autohaler (NZ)
                                   Vanceril         MDI
                                   Vancenase        Pockethaler (nasal MDI)
                                   Vancenase AQ     nasal spray
             budesonide            Pulmicort        turbuhaler (Aus, Can)
                                                    neb soln (UK)
                                   Rhinocort        nasal inhaler (US),
                                                      nasal turbuhaler (Can)
                                   Nebuamp          neb soln (Can)
             dexamethasone         Decadron         Respihaler
               sodium phosphate      Phosphate               
             flunisolide           Aerobid          MDI 
                                   Aerobid-M        MDI, with menthol as 
                                                      flavouring agent
                                   Bronalide        nasal turbuhaler (Can)
                                   Nasalide         nasal spray
                                   Rhinalar         nasal spray (Can)
             fluticasone           Flixotide        MDI (UK)
               proprionate                          diskhaler (UK)
             triamcinolone         Azmacort         MDI
               acetonide           Nasacort         nasal MDI
    Anticholinergics (bronchodilators)
             ipratropium           Atrovent         MDI, inh soln
    Beta-agonists (bronchodilators)
             albuterol*            Airet            inh soln
               (salbutamol is      Proventil        MDI, inh soln, syrup,
               WHO recommended                        tablets,
               name generally                         Repetabs (SA tablets)
               in use outside      Respolin         MDI, autohaler (NZ)
               the U.S.)           Ventolin         MDI, inh soln, syrup,
                                                      neb soln, tablets,
                                                      Rotacaps for Rotahaler
                                   Ventodisk        diskhaler (Can, UK)
                                   Volmax           ER tablets
                  * MDI uses albuterol, all other forms (tablets, etc.)
                    use albuterol sulfate
             bitolterol mesylate   Tornalate        MDI 
             ephedrine             Ephedrine        inh soln (Can)
             epinephrine           Bronkaid Mist    MDI, OTC - epinephrine
                                                      in form of nitrate
                                                      and hydrochloride
                                   Bronkaid Mist    MDI, OTC - epinephrine
                                     Suspension       in form of bitartrate
                                   Medihaler-Epi    MDI, OTC - epinephrine
                                                      in form of bitartrate
                                   Primatene Mist   MDI, OTC
                                   Primatene Mist   MDI, OTC - epinephrine
                                     Suspension       in form of bitartrate
                                   Sus-Phrine       injection
             fenoterol             Berotec          MDI, inh soln, tablets
               hydrobromide                           (Can, Aus, NZ)
    +        isoetharine           Bronkosol        inh soln
    +          hydrochloride       Bronkometer      MDI
                                   Isoetharine      inh soln
             isoproterenol         Medihaler-Iso    MDI
               sulfate             Isuprel          MDI, neb soln (Can) --
                                                      as hydrochloride
             metaproterenol        Alupent          MDI, inh soln, tablets,
               sulfate                                neb soln, syrup
                                   Metaprel         MDI, inh soln, syrup,
                                   Metaproterenol   inh soln
             pirbuterol acetate    Maxair           MDI, autohaler
             procaterol HCl        Pro-Air          MDI (Can)
             salbutamol -- see albuterol
             salmeterol            Serevent         MDI
               xinafoate                            diskhaler (UK)
             terbutaline           Brethaire        MDI
               sulfate             Brethine         tablets, neb soln,
                                   Bricanyl         tablets, injection
                                                    turbuhaler (Aus)
    Xanthines (bronchodilators)
             theophylline          Aerolate         TD capsules, liquid
                                   Quibron-T        tablets, SA tablets
                                                      (see also
                                   Respbid          SR tablets
                                   Slo-bid          ER capsules
                                   Slo-phylline     ER capsules
                                   T-Phyl           CR tablets
                                   Theo-24          ER capsules
                                   Theo-Dur         ER tablets
                                   Theo-Dur         SA capsules
                                   Theo-X           tablets
                                   Theolair         tablets, SR tablets,
                                   Uniphyl          CR tablets
             dyphylline**          Lufyllin         tablets, injection,
                 ** similar to theophylline         
             oxtriphylline***      Choledyl         DR tablets, SA tablets
                 *** oxtriphylline is the choline salt of theophylline,
                     and 400 mg of it is equivalent to 254 mg of
                     anhydrous theophylline
    Combination Medications:
    Brand name         Chemical names of ingredients    Comments
    ----------         -----------------------------    --------
    Asbron G           theophylline sodium glycinate,   elixir, tablets
                         guaifenesin (expectorant)
    Bronkaid Caplets   ephedrine sulfate, guaifenesin   tablets, OTC
    Congess            guaifenesin, pseudoephedrine     tablets
    Duo-Medihaler      isoproterenol hydrochloride,     MDI
                         phenylephrine bitartrate
    Duovent            fenoterol hydrobromide,          MDI (UK)
                         ipratropium bromide
    Marax              ephedrine sulfate,               tablets
                         Atarax (hydroxyzine HCl)
    Primatene Tablets  theophylline, ephedrine HCl      tablets, OTC
    Quadrinal          theophylline calcium salicylate, tablets
                         ephedrine HCl, phenobarbital,
                         potassium iodide
    Rynatuss           carbetapentane tannate,          tablets, syrup
                         chlorpheniramine tannate,
                         ephedrine tannate,
                         phenylephrine tannate
    Tedral             theophylline, ephedrine HCl,     tablets -- no longer
                         phenobarbital                    manufactured
    Ventolin-Plus      albuterol, beclomethasone        MDI (Sw)
    aerosol inhalers:
      MDI        - metered-dose inhaler, consisting of an aerosol unit and
                   plastic mouthpiece
      autohaler  - MDI made by 3M which is activated by one's breath, and
                   doesn't need the breath-hand coordination that a regular
                   MDI does
      respihaler - aerosol inhaler for Decadron (see table above).  I have
                   no idea how this differs from the usual MDI
    dry powder inhalers:
      rotahaler  - dry powder inhaler used with Ventolin Rotacaps (see
                   table above), i.e.  albuterol sulfate in capsules.
                   Each capsule contains one dose; the inhaler opens
                   the capsule such that the powder may be inhaled 
                   through the mouthpiece.  Available in the U.S.,
                   Canada, and UK.
      spinhaler  - dry powder inhaler used with Intal capsules for
                   spinhaler.  Each capsule contains one dose; the 
                   inhaler opens the capsule such that the powder 
                   may be inhaled through the mouthpiece.  Available 
                   in Canada, UK, and the U.S.
      diskhaler  - dry powder inhaler.  The drug is kept in a series of
                   little pouches on a disk; the diskhaler punctures
                   the pouch and drug is inhaled through the mouthpiece.
                   Currently available in Canada and UK, not in U.S.
      turbuhaler - dry powder inhaler.  The drug is in form of a pellet;
                   when body of inhaler is rotated, prescribed amount of 
                   drug is ground off this pellet.  The powder is then
                   inhaled through a fluted aperture on top.  Available 
                   in Australia and Canada.
    forms of tablets:
      SA         - sustained action.  SA and CR (below) have been used
                   interchangeably and almost mean the same thing,
                   except SA refers to the pharmacologic action while
                   CR refers to the drug release process.  Any drug
                   release which is controlled in a zero-order fashion
                   (constant rate of release) is generally referred to
                   as Sustained or Controlled Release.
      CR         - controlled release.  See SA.
      DR         - delayed release.  This generally refers to enteric-
                   coated tablets which are designed to release the drug
                   in the intestine where the pH is in the alkaline range.
      ER         - extended release.  Dosage forms which are designed to
                   release the drug over an extended period of time,
                   e.g. implants which release drug over a period of
                   one or two months or years.
      TD         - time delayed.  This is slightly different from DR in
                   that the drug release is designed to occur after a 
                   certain period of time, e.g. pellets coated to a
                   certain thickness or multi-layered tablets or tablets
                   within a capsule or double-compressed tablets.
    forms of solutions:
      neb soln   - nebulizer solution.  Drug comes in nebules for use with
      inh soln   - inhalation solution.  Some manufacturers use this as a
                   synonym for neb soln; others use it to mean that drug 
                   comes in bottle with dropper, distinct from neb soln. 
    country abbreviations:
      Aus        - Australia
      Can        - Canada
      UK         - United Kingdom
      Sw         - Switzerland
      NZ         - New Zealand
      OTC        - over-the-counter, all other medications are prescription-
                   only in the U.S.
    The Physicians' Desk Reference is published annually by:
          Medical Economics Data Production Company 
          Montvale, NJ 07645-1742
          ISBN 1-56363-061-3
    It is a compendium of official, FDA-approved prescription
    drug labeling.  The FDA is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
      Lawrence M. (Larry) Bezeau                             [email protected]
      Daniel Canonica       [email protected]
      John Connett                                    [email protected]
      Mark Delany                              [email protected]
      Walter de Wit                             [email protected]
      Steve Dyer                                            [email protected]
      Ian Ford                                        [email protected]
      Susan Graham                                      [email protected]
      Rick Hughes                                   [email protected]
      Simon Kelley                                        [email protected]
      Rick Nopper                           [email protected]
      Kevin A. Nunan                                [email protected]
      Janet Pierson                                 [email protected]
      Matt Ray                                      [email protected]
      John Saunders                                [email protected]
      Stephan Seillier                                 [email protected]
    + John R. Strohm                              [email protected] 
      John Underhay                                      [email protected]
      David Williams                                [email protected]
      Travis Lee Winfrey                          [email protected]
    [email protected]-----
    Disclaimer:  I am not a physician; I am only a reasonably  
                 well-informed asthmatic.  This information is for 
                 educational purposes only, and should be used only as
                 a supplement to, not a substitute for, professional 
                 medical advice.  
    Copyright 1995, 1996 by Patricia Wrean.  Permission is given to freely
    copy or distribute this FAQ provided that it is distributed in full 
    without modification, and that such distribution is not intended for
    Patricia Wrean                             [email protected]
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Oct 2013
    Published on All rights reserved.