Airway Clearance Techniques or ACTs

Airway clearance techniques (ACTs) are treatments that help people with cystic fibrosis (CF) stay healthy and breathe easier. ACTs loosen thick, sticky lung mucus so it can be cleared by coughing or huffing. Clearing the airways reduces lung infections and improves lung function. There are many ACTs. Most are easy to do. For infants and toddlers, ACTs can be done by almost anyone. Older kids and adults can do their own ACTs. ACTs are often used with other treatments, like inhaled bronchodilators and antibiotics. Bronchodilators should be taken before or with ACTs to open airways. Inhaled antibiotics should be taken after ACTs to treat opened airways. Your CF care team will help you choose the best ACT and other treatments. Each year, review and update your routine with your CF care team.

Sources: An Introduction to Cystic Fibrosis For Patients and Families, 5th Edition; 2003, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Glossary of Clinical Trials Terms, from National Institutes of Health.  Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has not reviewed or approved, and takes no responsibility for the content on this website.”