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QA40: My child’s health care provider has used the terms ‘rescue’ vs ‘control’ medications as it relates to treating asthma. What do those terms mean?

Treating asthma usually involves using a medication daily to ‘control’ asthma and prevent asthma flare-ups. These medications are likely to be in the form of an inhaled anti-inflammatory drug (a type of steroid) such as Flovent or Pulmicort, or a nonsteroid called Singulair. When a child has an asthma flare a ‘rescue’ medication is used that acts quickly such as Albuterol ( or Proair ).

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