Quick-relief medicines (also called rescue or fast-acting medicines) are asthma medicines that work fast to stop someone from wheezing, coughing, and feeling shortness of breath. Most quick-relief medicines are inhaled so the medicine gets straight into the lungs where it's needed. The medicine relaxes the muscle around the airways so the airways widen and are better able to move air in and out of the lungs. Quick-relief medicines wear off fast. They may not be enough to keep someone's asthma under control. That's why some people also need a long-term control medicine to keep the airways from getting swollen in the first place.