I not only write a medical column, but I read them as well. Recently, in this paper a comment in a medical column was questioned by a reader. The physician writing the column, in an attempt to resolve the controversy over his comments, agreed with the reader and “corrected his information”. However, as I read the column I realized that the correction needed some correction. Formoterol is a long-acting bronchodilator, and is used by itself in a nebulizer or in combination with a steroid in a metered dose inhaler. Formoterol has a short onset of action but a long-lasting effect of around 12 hours. The drug is used as maintenance therapy, usually twice per day. The physician in his column said it should not be used as an acute rescue therapy. This is correct. The reader said they found documentation that because of its rapid onset of action formoterol could be used as an acute rescue medication. The physician agreed. Context is important to this answer, and none was offered. Most rescue medications, such as albuterol, are effective for about 4 hours and are, therefore, prescribed every 4 hours as needed. In an emergency, formoterol could be used once as a rescue therapy, but using it every 4 hours would subject the patient to an overdose of the drug and serious, potentially fatal, consequences. If you have read the article to which I have referred, remember that formoterol should be used every 12 hours, and use more often could be dangerous.