Table 4

Reliever therapies

Reliever therapiesComments
SABAsCurrently used as a first-line reliever agent in a number of national guidelines; effects of bronchodilation last for up to 4 hours.
SABAs work by rapidly relaxing the smooth muscle of small airways, providing quick relief from asthma symptoms.
Should be delivered via an age-appropriate spacer device or only if requiring supplemental oxygen via a nebuliser; older children may be able to use a handheld device without a spacer if trained and deemed competent in using it effectively.
Oral corticosteroidsUsed as a short-term therapy during asthma attacks to reduce airway inflammation and ease symptoms; repeated short-term courses of oral steroids suggest poor chronic symptom control and should trigger a review of maintenance therapy.
  • SABA, short-acting beta-2 agonist.