How Do Respiratory Inhalant Combos Work?

Reviewed on 10/22/2021

How do respiratory inhalant combos work?

Respiratory inhalant combos are medications prescribed to treat respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. Respiratory inhalant combos are combinations of different classes of medications that work in unique ways to dilate the bronchial passage and ease breathing.

Respiratory inhalant combos work in the following ways:

  • Relax bronchial smooth muscles
  • Inhibit hypersensitive reactions in the bronchial passage
  • Reduce mucus secretion in the respiratory system
  • Improve lung function

Respiratory inhalant combos are different combination formulations of the following classes of medications:

  • Long-acting beta2 agonists (LABAs): LABAs enhance the activity of beta-2 adrenergic receptors, protein molecules on cell surfaces that are stimulated by epinephrine, a natural hormone in the body. LABAs relax bronchial muscles and inhibit hypersensitivity reactions from mast cells, a type of immune cells that initiate allergic reactions.
  • Long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMA): LAMAs block the activity of muscarinic receptors which make muscles contract in response to acetylcholine, a chemical that nerve endings secrete. LAMAs relax bronchial smooth muscles, reduce mucus secretion in the respiratory system and improve lung function.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are potent anti-inflammatory agents that prevent immune cells from releasing pro-inflammatory substances. Corticosteroids affect many types of immune cells such as mast cells, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes, macrophages, and neutrophils.

How are respiratory inhalant combos used?

Respiratory inhalant combos are administered as oral inhalations in the form of powders, sprays, aerosolized tiny particles or droplets, or solutions nebulized into a fine mist. Many types of inhalation devices such as metered dose inhalers and nebulizers may be used.

Respiratory inhalant combos are used for the treatment of the following conditions:


  • Long term maintenance treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases including:
  • COPD is not adequately controlled with a single bronchodilator
  • COPD exacerbations
  • Prevention and maintenance treatment of asthma, an inflammatory bronchial condition
  • Asthma is not adequately controlled with long-term medications

Orphan designation:


COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the same as adult-onset asthma. See Answer

What are side effects of respiratory inhalant combos?

Side effects of respiratory inhalant combos may include the following:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of respiratory inhalant combo drugs?

Generic and brand names of respiratory inhalant combo drugs include:


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