Formoterol has an extended duration of action (up to 12 h)
compared to short-acting β2 agonists such as salbutamol (albuterol),
which are effective for 4 h to 6 h. LABAs such as formoterol are used as “symptom controllers” to supplement
prophylactic corticosteroid therapy.
A “reliever” short-acting β2 agonist (e.g., salbutamol) is still required since LABAs are not recommended for the
treatment of acute asthma
n November 2005, the US FDA released a health advisory alerting the public to findings that show the use of long-
acting β2 agonists could lead to a worsening of wheezing symptoms in some patients.
and sustained-release oral salbutamol.
Combinations of inhaled steroids and long-acting bronchodilators are becoming more widespread – combination