Medical Surgical Asthma #3


A client enters the emergency department because of being awakened in the night with a bronchospasm. The client is diagnosed with asthma and the nurse provides instructions on which medication to utilize for onset of bronchospasm?


  1. Montelukast.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because Montelukast (Singulair) is a leukotriene receptor antagonist that relieves symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, and may be used when asthma symptoms occur seasonally.

  2. Fluticasone-salmeterol.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because Fluticasone-salmeterol (Advair) is also used as a prevention modality for symptoms such as wheezing and have long-acting beta agonist plus a corticosteroid.

  3. Albuterol inhaler.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because albuterol inhaler represents a short-acting bronchodilator inhaler typically used as a “rescue” medication to provide quick relief of asthma symptoms. Bronchospasms are indicators of an acute asthma attack.

  4. Budesonide-formoterol.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because budesonide-formoterol (Symbicort) is used to prevent symptoms of wheezing and should not be used for quick relief either.


The focus of this question is client education regarding medications used to treat asthma. With an acute asthma attack, evidenced by bronchospasm, albuterol is the medication of choice.


Learning Outcomes

Albuterol is a short-acting beta agonist that rapidly reverses the signs/symptoms of bronchospasm. Albuterol is also referred to as the rescue inhaler for clients experiencing symptoms of an acute asthma attack. Clients should be instructed to use their albuterol inhaler at the onset of acute bronchospasm.

Test Taking Tip

Remember that for “brutal” asthma attacks, we use al-BUTEROL.

Video Rationale