Exercise-induced Bronchospasm | Treatment


How is EIB treated?

Medicines to treat EIB include the following:

  • A short-acting bronchodilator: This medicine is usually taken 15 minutes before exercise and lasts 4 to 6 hours.
  • A mast cell stabilizer: This medicine is usually taken 15 minutes to 1 hour before exercise and lasts for 4 hours.
  • A longer acting bronchodilator. This medicine is usually taken 30 minutes before exercise and lasts up to 12 hours.
  • An anti-leukotriene: This medicine lasts up to 24 hours. It is taken every day and helps keep your airways from shrinking.

You and your doctor will talk about which medicine is right for you. He or she will tell you how to take your medicine. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions carefully to make sure your medicine is effective.

A warm-up and cool-down period of at least 15 minutes before and after exercise may help lessen the symptoms of EIB. Avoid exercising in extremely cold temperatures or when you have a respiratory infection, such as a cold or the flu. If you have allergies, avoid exercising when pollen levels are high. Also, if you smoke, stop.


Recognition and Management of Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm by T Sinha, MD; AK David, MD (American Family Physician February 15, 2003, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030215/769.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 04/03