Medications used to manage asthma symptoms are broadly classified into two types: anti-inflammatory drugs and bronchodilators. As of 2015, a definite cure for asthma remains unknown, notes Cleveland Clinic.
Asthma medications are designed to alleviate asthma symptoms and prevent the occurrence of asthma attacks. Anti-inflammatory drugs are the most essential form of medication for asthmatic individuals. These drugs function by minimizing swelling and decreasing the amount of mucus produced in respiratory passages. Common anti-inflammatory medications for asthma include inhaled and oral corticosteroids, mast cell stabilizers and leukotrine modifiers.
Bronchodilators work by relaxing the muscles that constrict the airways and clearing out mucus from the lungs, which enable asthma patients to breathe easier, states Cleveland Clinic. This type of medication includes beta2-agonists, anticholinergics and theophylline.