Medications (Adult asthma)

7) Combination inhalers

Combination inhalers:

  • Are a combination of a steroid and a long acting reliever.
  • Can be used when a steroid alone does not control asthma symptoms.
  • Are a treatment which can be stepped up and down according to asthma control.

View text alternative

Drug name Device How its taken Side effects
Beclometasone/Formoterol (Fostair®) Metered dose inhaler, NEXThaler
  • Combination of a steroid and a long acting reliever
  • Used when a steroid alone does not control asthma symptoms
  • Treatment can be stepped up and down according to asthma control
Common side effects include: shakiness, headaches and palpitations. If you experience symptoms that suggest an allergic reaction seek medical advice as soon as possible.

With steroids you can get an increased number of infections including oral thrush. Some practical tips on avoiding oral thrush are:

  • Wash your mouth out and/or brush your teeth after using your inhaler
  • Make sure you are using your inhaler correctly
  • You may need to use a spacer device

High doses of steroids can cause long term effects – It is important you attend regular asthma reviews to assess your treatment and reduce the risk of long term side-effects.

Information on other side-effects can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet in the pack or on the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) website.

Most side effects are short lasting and common. They are not a reason to stop taking the inhaler. Most people tolerate these mild side effects. If you are in any doubt contact your GP or asthma team.Budesonide/Formoterol (Symbicort®, DuoResp®)Turbohaler, SpiromaxFluticasone/Formoterol (Flutiform®)Flutiform inhalerFluticasone/Salmeterol (Seretide®)Metered dose inhaler, AccuhalerFluticasone Furoate/Vilanterol (Relvar Ellipta®)Ellipta inhaler

Please note:

These are the most commonly used inhalers at the time of publication of this website. If you do not see your inhaler you can speak to your GP or pharmacist or check the patient information leaflet for your inhaler and medication.