Asthma Home > What Is Formoterol Used For?

What is formoterol used for? The medication helps prevent asthma attacks and treat similar lung problems, such as COPD. It is not intended to treat an asthma attack once it occurs. Therefore, anyone who takes formoterol should also have a rescue medication available, such as an albuterol inhaler, in case of emergencies. At this time, there are no off-label conditions that formoterol is used for.

What Is Formoterol Used For? -- An Overview

Formoterol fumarate (Foradil®) is a prescription medication used to treat asthma and other similar lung problems. It is part of a class of asthma drugs known as beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short.

Formoterol Uses for Bronchospasms Due to Asthma or COPD

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs. When you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating. When the airways react, they narrow and constrict the airflow to your lungs. This is called a bronchospasm, and it causes asthma symptoms, such as:
  • Wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe)
  • Coughing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Trouble breathing.
While there is no asthma cure, the condition can be controlled. Many different asthma treatments are available, including fast-acting "rescue medications" for treating an asthma attack and longer-acting "controller medications" used to prevent asthma attacks. Formoterol is a controller medication, used to help prevent asthma attacks (but not to treat an attack). Everyone who takes the drug should also have a rescue medication available (such as an albuterol inhaler) for emergency situations. Formoterol is also useful in preventing exercise-induced asthma (see Asthma and Exercise).
Formoterol can also treat bronchospasms due to other lung problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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