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What Comes First - The Bronchodilator or the Steroid Inhaler?

By February 23, 2009

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Another great question was recently posted in the COPD forum:

I just read an article about Q-Var - it stated if you are using another bronchodilator with it-you should use the Q-Var second--this is just opposite of what I was told--is the article right or is the clinic that I went to right?


Q-Var, or beclomethasone, is a steroid inhaler often prescribed for patients who have asthma or COPD. Steroid inhalers help to reduce inflammation of the airways, the tubes in your lungs where air passes through.

But, like our friend Ann asks, what if you're prescribed both a bronchodilator and a steroid inhaler? Which one should you use first?

If we look at the action of both types of inhalers, it should make better sense. A bronchodilator is used to open up and relax constricted airways making it easier to breathe. And, as previously mentioned, steroids are used to reduce inflammation and swelling in the airways. It therefore makes perfect sense to use the bronchodilator first, wait a few minutes, and then to use the steroid inhaler, after the airways have been opened up and are more relaxed. This way, the steroid can penetrate the lungs more effectively.

Hope that helps to answer your question, Ann, and thanks once again for contributing to the COPD forum!

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Read more about:


How to Use a Bronchodilator Inhaler

How to Use a Metered Dose Inhaler

How to Use a Nebulizer

Common Medications for the COPD Patient and Their Caregivers

April 11, 2010 at 10:04 pm
(1) Lisa says:

We were taught ABC:

Bronchodilator comes before a

hope that helps!

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