There are many different medicines used to treat breathing problems such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There are two main types of treatment: 'relievers' and 'preventers'. Reliever medicines, such as salbutamol and salmeterol, work quickly to widen the airways and make breathing easier. Preventer medicines are taken regularly to reduce swelling and inflammation in the lungs and airways. Examples of preventer medicines include beclometasone, fluticasone and montelukast. Usually a combination of reliever and preventer medicines is used to manage the symptoms of asthma and COPD.
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