These can be short-acting (effects lasting 4 to 6 hours) or long-acting (effects lasting 12 hours or more). Beta agonists can be given orally or by inhalation. Inhaling is often preferred because the medication tends to start working faster with this method and has fewer side effects.
Short-acting beta-agonists (SABA):
-These open airways quickly (within 15-20 minutes) to relieve shortness of breath.
-They are often used as “rescue” medications or COPD medications for quick relief, taken as needed to relieve shortness of breath. They can also be prescribed to be taken on a regular basis.
Examples of short-acting beta-agonists: