The combination of a corticosteroid like fluticasone or budesonide with a long-acting bronchodilator like salmeterol and formotero in one inhaler can be used for long-term asthma management, as it contains both an anti-inflammatory, to reduce inflammation and improve lung function, also a bronchodilator to relieve symptoms of bronchospasm. For asthmatics whose symptoms are already well controlled using a preventer and controller/reliever medication individually, the combination inhaler is more convenient to use and often provides better control than a preventer inhaler alone. However this type of combination medication is not suitable for severe asthma or asthma attack. A corticosteroid/ bronchodilator combination can also be used for maintenance therapy of moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The combination of salbutamol or levosalbutamol, both short-acting beta agonists, with ipratropium, an anticholinergic, has a synergistic action (one drug enhances the action of the other), so that the combination is more effective as a bronchodilator than each individual drug alone. This combination can be used to widen the airways and relieve symptoms of asthma, COPD, bronchitis and emphysema and may also be used in addition to another reliever bronchodilator, if needed to control symptoms.