Skip to main content

Table 2 Asthma medications and the prohibited list (2019)—status and impact on sports performance

From: Anti-doping Policy, Therapeutic Use Exemption and Medication Use in Athletes with Asthma: A Narrative Review and Critical Appraisal of Current Regulations

Asthma medication Prohibited list status Impact on sports performance
β-2 agonists   
 Short-acting β-2 agonists
  Salbutamol (excluding inhaled)
  Reproterol
  Terbutaline
Prohibited (all selective and non-selective β-2 agonists, including all optical isomers) Increased strength and sprint power following acute and chronic administration [44,45,46,47, 51,52,53]
Improvement in submaximal endurance performance [50]
 Long-acting β-2 agonists
  Salmeterol (excluding inhaled)
  Formoterol (excluding inhaled)
  Indacaterol
  Olodaterol
  Tulobuterol
  Vilanterol
Prohibited (all selective and non-selective β-2 agonists, including all optical isomers) No data available
 Other (intermediate acting)
  Fenoterol
  Higenamine
  Procaterol
Prohibited (all selective and non-selective β-2 agonists, including all optical isomers) No data available
Inhaled salbutamol Permitted (maximum 1600 µg over 24 h in divided doses not to exceed 800 µg over 12 h) No evidence to support improvement in aerobic capacity [34] or endurance performance [35,36,37,38,39]
Inhaled formoterol Permitted (maximum delivered dose of 54 µg over 24 h) Improved sprint performance [42]
Inhaled salmeterol Permitted (maximum 200 µg over 24 h)  
Corticosteroids
  Betamethasone
  Budesonide
  Cortisone
  Deflazacort
Prohibited in-competition only (systemic administration [i.e. oral, intravenous, intramuscular and rectal] of corticosteroids) Improved time to exhaustion at sub-maximal intensities (~ 70% aerobic capacity) following acute [54, 55] and short-term administration [56,57,58]
  Dexamethasone
  Fluticasone
  Hydrocortisone
  Methylprednisolone
  Prednisolone
  Prednisone
  Triamcinolone
Permitted at all times (inhaled administration of corticosteroids) No impact on endurance performance [43]