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Asthma Inhalers

Airomir Autohaler
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Usually one puff as needed which may be increased to two puffs if necessary.

Airomir  Autohaler inhaler contains the ingredient Salbutamol, which is a bronchodilator. This opens up the breathing tubes of the lungs and makes breathing easier. Salbutamol can help you feel less tight chested and less breathless or wheezy. 

The Airomir Autohaler is used: to treat asthma by relieving wheezing and shortness of breath, to prevent asthma following exercise and for the treatment of wheezing and shortness of breath caused by certain other chest diseases.

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)

  • Shaking, usually of the hands (tremor).
  • Headache.
  • Faster than normal heartbeat (tachycardia).

Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)

  • Awareness of your heartbeat (heart palpitations).
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Mouth or throat irritation.

Keep out of the reach and sight of children. Do not use if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. Talk to your doctor before taking if you are allergic to any of the ingredients, pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast feeding. Take special care if you have thyroid problems, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, severe asthma, hypoxia and a history of heart disease or angina. Speak with your doctor before taking if you are on any other medication.

Airomir Inhaler
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Usually one puff as needed which may be increased to two puffs if necessary.

Airomir aerosol inhaler contains the ingredient Salbutamol, which is a bronchodilator. This opens up the breathing tubes of the lungs and makes breathing easier. Salbutamol can help you feel less tight chested and less breathless or wheezy. 

The Airomir Inhaler is used: to treat asthma by relieving wheezing and shortness of breath, to prevent asthma following exercise and for the treatment of wheezing and shortness of breath caused by certain other chest diseases.

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)

  • Shaking, usually of the hands (tremor).
  • Headache.
  • Faster than normal heartbeat (tachycardia).

Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)

  • Awareness of your heartbeat (heart palpitations).
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Mouth or throat irritation.

Keep out of the reach and sight of children. Do not use if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. Talk to your doctor before taking if you are allergic to any of the ingredients, pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast feeding. Take special care if you have thyroid problems, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, severe asthma, hypoxia and a history of heart disease or angina. Speak with your doctor before taking if you are on any other medication.

Bricanyl Turbohaler
Pack Size: 100 inhalations
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Bricanyl Turbohaler contains the active ingredient terbutaline and is used as a reliever in asthma. It is taken when required in response to symptoms of coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. It should help to relieve symptoms within 5 minutes. Bricanyl Turbohaler has the added benefit that it is a breath-actuated inhaler, making it easier to administer the dose.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.
 

Pharmacist Tip: Bricanyl Turbohaler is usually taken 1 – 2 puffs when required, up to four times daily. You should always use your Bricanyl whenever you feel short of breath or wheezy; it should improve your symptoms within a few minutes. You should have a clinical management plan with your GP so that you know exactly what to do in the event of an asthma attack. 

Clenil Modulite 100mcg Inhaler
Pack Size: 200 inhalations
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Clenil Modulite contains the active ingredient beclometasone, an inhaled steroid used as a preventer to suppress inflammation in asthma.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Clenil Modulite is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid. This will reduce the chances of oral thursh or other oral infections developing.

Clenil Modulite 200mcg Inhaler
Pack Size: 200 inhalations
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Clenil Modulite contains the active ingredient beclometasone, an inhaled steroid used as a preventer to suppress inflammation in asthma.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Clenil Modulite is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid.

Clenil Modulite 250mcg Inhaler
Pack Size: 200 inhalations
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Clenil Modulite contains the active ingredient beclometasone, an inhaled steroid used as a preventer to suppress inflammation in asthma.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Clenil Modulite is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid. This will help to reduce the chance of oral thursh or other oral infections occurring.

Clenil Modulite 50mcg Inhaler
Pack Size: 200 inhalations
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Clenil Modulite contains the active ingredient beclometasone, an inhaled steroid used as a preventer to suppress inflammation in asthma.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Clenil Modulite is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid.This will help to reduce the chance of oral thursh or other oral infections occurring.

Pulmicort 100 Turbohaler
Pack Size: 100 inhalations
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Pulmicort Turbohaler contains the active ingredient budesonide, an inhaled steroid used as a preventer to suppress inflammation in asthma. Pulmicort Turbohaler has the added benefit that it is a breath-actuated inhaler, making it easier to administer the dose.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Pulmicort Turbohaler is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid.This will help to reduce the chance of oral thursh or other oral infections occurring.

Pulmicort 200 Turbohaler
Pack Size: 100 inhalations
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Pulmicort Turbohaler contains the active ingredient budesonide, an inhaled steroid used as a preventer to suppress inflammation in asthma. Pulmicort Turbohaler has the added benefit that it is a breath-actuated inhaler, making it easier to administer the dose.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Pulmicort Turbohaler is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid.This will help to reduce the chance of oral thursh or other oral infections occurring.

Pulmicort 400 Turbohaler
Pack Size: 100 inhalations
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Pulmicort Turbohaler contains the active ingredient budesonide, an inhaled steroid used as a preventer to suppress inflammation in asthma. Pulmicort Turbohaler has the added benefit that it is a breath-actuated inhaler, making it easier to administer the dose.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Pulmicort Turbohaler is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid.This will help to reduce the chance of oral thursh or other oral infections occurring.

Qvar 100 Autohaler
Pack Size: 200 inhalations
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Qvar Autohaler contains the active ingredient beclometasone, an inhaled steroid used as a preventer to suppress inflammation in asthma. Qvar Autohaler has the added benefit that it is a breath-actuated inhaler, making it easier to administer the dose.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Qvar Autohaler is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid.This will help to reduce the chance of oral thursh or other oral infections occurring.

Qvar 100 Inhaler
Pack Size: 200 inhalations
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Qvar Aerosol contains the active ingredient beclometasone, an inhaled steroid used as a preventer to suppress inflammation in asthma.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Qvar Aerosol is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid.This will help to reduce the chance of oral thursh or other oral infections occurring.

Qvar 50 Autohaler
Pack Size: 200 inhalations
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Qvar Autohaler contains the active ingredient beclometasone, an inhaled steroid used as a preventer to suppress inflammation in asthma. Qvar Autohaler has the added benefit that it is a breath-actuated inhaler, making it easier to administer the dose.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Qvar Autohaler is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid.This will help to reduce the chance of oral thursh or other oral infections occurring.

Qvar 50 Inhaler
Pack Size: 200 inhalations
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Qvar Aerosol contains the active ingredient beclometasone, an inhaled steroid used as a preventer to suppress inflammation in asthma.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Qvar Aerosol is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid.This will help to reduce the chance of oral thursh or other oral infections occurring.

Salamol Easi-Breathe Inhaler
Pack Size: 200 inhalations
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Salamol Easi-Breathe contains the active ingredient salbutamol and is used as a reliever in asthma. It is taken when required in response to symptoms of coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. It should help to relieve symptoms within 5 minutes. Salamol Easi-Breathe has the added benefit that it is a breath-actuated inhaler, making it easier to administer the dose.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Salamol Easi-Breathe is usually taken 1 – 2 puffs when required, up to four times daily. Your aim should be to use your reliever as little as possible; needing to use your reliever less frequently indicates better asthma control.

Symbicort 200 Turbohaler
Pack Size: 120 inhalations
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Symbicort Turbohaler contains the active ingredient formoterol, a long acting reliever, and budesonide, an inhaled steroid. It is used as a preventer to suppress inflammation and keep the airways open in asthma. Symbicort Turbohaler has the added benefit that it is a breath-actuated inhaler, making it easier to administer the dose.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Symbicort Turbohaler is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid.This will help to reduce the chance of oral thursh or other oral infections occurring.

Symbicort 400 Turbohaler
Pack Size: 120 inhalations
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Symbicort Turbohaler contains the active ingredient formoterol, a long acting reliever, and budesonide, an inhaled steroid. It is used as a preventer to suppress inflammation and keep the airways open in asthma. Symbicort Turbohaler has the added benefit that it is a breath-actuated inhaler, making it easier to administer the dose.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.

Pharmacist Tip: Symbicort Turbohaler is normally taken 1 – 2 puffs, morning and evening. It is important to take it regularly to ensure it builds up and maintains an anti-inflammatory effect. You should swill your mouth out or brush your teeth after using an inhaled steroid.This will help to reduce the chance of oral thursh or other oral infections occurring.

Ventolin Accuhaler
Pack Size: 60 blisters
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Always use this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Adults, adolescents aged 12 years and over and children 4 to 11 years of age:to relieve asthma: One inhalation (200 micrograms), to prevent asthma: One inhalation (200 micrograms) 10 to 15 minutes before exercise or exposure to a trigger. The maximum dose is one inhalation (200 micrograms) four times a day.

Ventolin Accuhaler contains a medicine called Salbutamol which belongs to a group of medicines called fast-acting bronchodilators. Bronchodilators help the airways in your lungs to stay open. This makes it easier for air to get in and out. They help to relieve chest tightness, wheezing and cough. 

Ventolin Accuhaler is used to treat breathing problems in people with asthma and similar conditions. This includes relieving and preventing asthma brought on by exercise or other triggers. These are things, which bring on asthma symptoms in some people. Common triggers include house dust, pollen, cats, dogs and cigarette smoke.

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)

  • Shaking, usually of the hands (tremor).
  • Headache.
  • Faster than normal heartbeat (tachycardia).



Keep out of the reach and sight of children. Do not exceed the stated dose. Do not take if you are allergic to any the ingredients. Talk to your doctor before taking if you have high blood pressure, overactive thyroid, history of heart problems or taking water tablets. Discuss with your doctor before taking if you are taking any other medication, pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast feeding.

Ventolin Evohaler
Pack Size: 200 inhalations (1 inhaler)
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You should always use your Venotlin inhaler exactly as instructed by your GP or asthma nurse. The normal dose is 1-2 puffs up to four times daily when required or unless previously directed otherwise by your doctor or asthma nurse.

To use a Ventolin Evohaler: First, shake the inhaler before taking a few gentle deep breaths. Place the mouthpiece of the inhaler in your mouth, ensuring you do not block or bite on it with your teeth. Start to breathe in slowly and deeply through the mouthpiece. As you breathe in, simultaneously push down on the metal canister to administer one dose. Continue to breathe in deeply to make sure the medicine gets into your lungs. Next, hold your breath for as al dose long as comfortably possible before gently breathing out. If another dose is required, wait for thirty seconds and then repeat this procedure. Ventolin Evohalers can be used in conjunction with a spacer device such as a Volumatic or Aerochamber.

Using a metered dose inhaler can require a degree of coordination. It is important to get your inhaler technique checked regularly by your doctor or asthma nurse to ensure you are getting the most out of your inhalers.

If Ventolin is ineffective at reducing your wheeziness or shortness of breath after two attempts (i.e 2 puffs, a gap of 5 minutes, then 2 more puffs) an ambulance should be called immediately.

You should clean your Ventolin Evohaler regularly to stop it blocking and ensure you are getting the full dose of salbutamol when you inhale. To clean your inhaler:

  • Remove the metal canister and open the mouthpiece cover.
  • Rinse thoroughly under warm running water.
  • Leave to dry. Ensure it is completely dry inside and out.
  • Replace metal canister and cover mouthpiece.  

Repeat supplies of Ventolin Evohaler are available to buy from THE Medical Online Doctor service, following a free consultation, to help to help control asthma in those who have been diagnosed by their GP. To find out more about asthma and see all the available treatments, see our Online Doctor Asthma page.

Ventolin contains the active ingredient salbutamol and is used as a reliever in asthma. It is taken when required in response to symptoms of coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. It should help to relieve symptoms within 5 minutes. Ventolin is usually taken 1 – 2 puffs when required, up to four times daily. You should always use your Ventolin whenever you feel short of breath or wheezy; it should improve your symptoms within a few minutes. You should have a clinical management plan with your GP so that you know exactly what to do in the event of an asthma attack. 

Ventolin contains the active ingredient Salbutamol Sulphate, which is mainly used to treat the condition Asthma. Ventolin Evohaler is a blue inhaler manufactured by Allen & Hanburys and is classified as a prescription only medicine (POM).  Ventolin or salbutamol is used to relieve breathing problems by opening the airways in the lungs.

Salbutamol Sulphate belongs to a category of medicines called, short-acting beta-2 agonists. This type of medicine works by stimulating the beta 2 receptors found in the lungs. This stimulation causes the muscles in the airways to relax, allowing them to open up. Conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), restrict the amount of air that can get in and out of the lungs. Using Ventolin or salbutamol will open these restricted airways, making it easier for an individual to breathe.

Salbutamol based inhalers are known as ‘relievers’ or ‘blue inhalers’. This is because when salbutamol is administered directly into the lungs it works quickly to relieve the symptoms of asthma attacks, shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and tightness of the chest. Salbutamol can also be used prior to exercising or exposure to allergens. This can help reduce the associated wheezing that can be triggered by both. 

Ventolin Evohalers are metered dose inhalers. This is sometimes referred to as an MDI or aerosol inhaler. It works to deliver a dose of salbutamol directly into the lungs. It comprises of a pressurized canister that is surrounded by a plastic case with a mouthpiece. To administer a dose, the metal canister is pushed down. This releases a measured dose of salbutamol in a fine mist spray. 

Salbutamol (Ventolin) does not commonly cause side effects and if they are experienced they are usually mild. They can include headache, dizziness, shaking and nausea. These may be a sign of overuse. If they occur you should see you GP or asthma nurse for further advice. Please read the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with your medicines for a full list of side effects.

If you experience any adverse effects from taking your prescribed medicine it is important to let us or your doctor know. You can call us on 0117 332 69 90. In a medical emergency you should contact the emergency services or go straight to your local Accident & Emergency.

Ventolin may not be appropriate to prescribe via the Online Doctor if:

  • your asthma is uncontrolled (for example you have frequent symptoms or flare ups or limited physical ability).
  • you have high blood pressure.
  • you have an overactive thyroid gland.
  • you have a history of heart problems such as an irregular or fast heartbeat or angina.
  • you are taking xanthine derivatives (such as theophylline) or oral steroids to treat asthma.
  • you are taking water tablets (diuretics), sometimes used to treat high blood pressure or a heart condition.
  • you are taking medicines for an irregular or fast heartbeat.
In the cases detailed above it is more suitable to see your GP or asthma nurse for a check-up of your asthma before getting repeat supplies of your inhalers.

About Asthma

Asthma Background

THE Medical Online Doctor service allows patients who require a repeat supply of their asthma inhalers to have a private consultation with a doctor and receive the treatment they require in a safe and discreet manner.


What is Asthma?

Asthma is an extremely common long-term condition that affects over 5 million people in the UK. It is a chronic condition involving inflammation and narrowing of the airways and lungs causing the sufferer to experience symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness and coughing. Symptoms can widely vary in severity between individuals; severe asthma can be life threatening. Although, asthma is incurable, children can ‘grow out’ of asthma during their teenage years and it can be well controlled and managed with treatment, with minimal impact on quality of life.

Over 5 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma, with 1 in 5 homes having someone living with asthma. Asthma occurs more commonly in women and children, however it can occur in anyone and develop at any age. Asthma is more likely to be a long-term condition if it develops in adulthood.


What causes Asthma?

There is no one direct cause of asthma; it can be caused by a combination of multiple environmental or genetic factors. Air pollutants, outdoor allergens (such as pollen), indoor allergens (such as dust), the quality of air, and certain viral respiratory infections can cause asthma.

Genetic factors are also responsible for causing asthma, as are factors such as family history, obesity and psychological stress. Some medication can also trigger asthma in some patients. Asthma is more common in children and people who suffer with allergies, such as hay fever, and eczema. Children who are exposed to tobacco smoke, born prematurely or have a low birth weight are more likely to develop asthma.

Asthma Symptoms

Asthma is characterized by wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness, pain or pressure in the chest and severe coughing. These symptoms are usually worse at night or in the early mornings, although they may appear any time.

Asthma symptoms are generally brought on by exposure to asthma triggers such as:

  • Exercise
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Laughing
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Airbourne pollution
  • Allergens (including pollen, dust mites, animal fur and food allergies)
  • Chest infections (including cold & flu)
  • Medicines (including aspirin, ibuprofen, and beta blockers)
  • Weather conditions (cold air, a sudden change in temperature, high humidity)

These trigger factors should be avoided if possible. If this is not possible you should always ensure you have your blue reliever inhaler with you and may wish to take a preventative dose before exposure to reduce the chance of symptoms developing.


Asthma Attacks

An asthma attack happens when symptoms get worse. Typically, during an asthma attack:

  • The muscles around the airways tighten, constricting the airway
  • Due to such constriction, less air passes through the airway
  • The airway becomes inflamed, causing still lesser air to pass through it
  • The amount of mucous increases in the airway, causing it to become narrower

Asthma attacks vary from patient to patient, and mild attacks are more common than severe ones. In severe asthma oxygen is prevented from entering the bloodstream due to a build-up of carbon dioxide in the lungs. If an asthma attack occurs and it does not respond to treatment with a blue reliever inhaler (usually Ventolin), an ambulance should be called immediately.

Asthma Diagnosis

Your GP will be able to diagnose asthma based on your symptoms. To aid a diagnosis it is helpful to keep a diary of your symptoms; when they occur, their severity, and if there were any trigger factors. Using this information combined with diagnostic tests such as spirometry, peak expiratory flow (PEF) and airway responsiveness, your doctor will be able to make an accurate diagnosis.

A peak expiratory flow measurement is taken using a peak flow meter. You may be given a peak flow meter on diagnosis of asthma to continue taking readings morning and night whilst you start your treatment. This will allow your GP or asthma nurse to monitor the progress of your asthma treatment and judge the effectiveness of your prescribed inhalers.

Asthma Treatment

Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the airways that can cause a blockage of airflow and squeezing of the air passages of the lung as a result of the contraction of the muscles in the bronchi. (Bronchi are the two air-tubes leading into the lungs.) Although there is no permanent cure for asthma, there are still ways to manage the symptoms to prevent a full flare-up, also known as an asthma attack.

The two main aims of asthma treatment are:

  • To relieve current symptoms
  • To prevent future symptoms

These two aims are managed using different types of inhalers and lifestyle techniques as detailed below.

Asthma, however episodes can be controlled and managed with medications allowing people to live normal lives. Treatment for asthma can be categorised into short-term and long-term. The short-term medications (salbutamol & terbutaline) provide quick relief from episodes and the long-term medicines (corticosteroids – beclometasone & budesonide) offer a way to control future asthma attacks.

’Short-term’ asthma inhalers provide quick relief of asthma symptoms (relievers – usually blue inhalers) whereas ‘long-term’ corticosteroid inhalers (preventers – usually brown/purple inhalers) supress the chronic inflammation in the airways.

Salbutamol (Ventolin & Salamol) is a short-acting quick-relief medication that is taken as the first line treatment for asthma. It is generally used in response to symptoms of shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing to provide quick relief. It can also be used in anticipation of symptoms, such as before exercise, to prevent them occurring. Besides salbutamol, your doctor may choose prescribe terbutaline (Bricanyl), which has a similar effect. Salbutamol acts within 5 minutes and can act for up to 6 hours.

Relievers (Ventolin, Salamol Easi-Breathe, and Bricanyl) act quickly to open the airways when they are narrowed and symptoms have started to develop. They can also be used prior to exposure to triggers, such as exercise, to stop symptoms occurring. When wheezing and breathlessness occur, it is important to use your reliever as quickly as possible following your asthma management plan set by your GP or asthma nurse. If your symptoms are no better or worse after 5 – 10 minutes and several doses of your reliever you should call an ambulance immediately.

As mentioned above, there is no permanent cure for asthma. Treatments only alleviate the symptoms that lead to an attack. Asthma is usually prevented and treated with inhaled medication. However, most mild asthma symptoms may be controlled by lifestyle changes (for instance, by quitting smoking, etc.), avoiding exposure to allergens and irritants (such as dust and pet dander) and using inhaled corticosteroids. Inhaled corticosteroids are a common type of asthma preventer that are inhaled without swallowing and go directly to your lungs, reducing inflammation.

The main aim of preventers is to keep asthma symptoms under control by reducing the sensitivity of the lining of the airways and reduce any inflammation and mucous production. Examples of preventers include Clenil, Qvar, Seretide, Serevent, Flixotide, Symbicort, and Pulmicort. They normally contain an inhaled steroid, and may have other ingredients that work in combination to keep the condition under control when used regularly.

In the long-term treatment of asthma, corticosteroids are most effective. They act to help reduce the irritation and inflammation of the airways, reducing the chance of symptoms and an asthma attack. Inhaled beclomethasone (Clenil & Qvar) is taken once or twice daily to treat symptoms. It is important that inhaled corticosteroid inhalers (preventers) are taken regularly to allow a continued effect to build up and inflammation of the airways to be effectively supressed. Budesonide (Pulmicort) is another common inhaled corticosteroid.

Preventers, such as Clenil & Qvar, and relievers (Ventolin, Salamol & Bricanyl) are often combined in asthma treatment for more effective treatment. Brown preventers are used regularly once or twice daily (as directed by your prescriber) and blue reliever inhalers are used when required to treat sudden onset symptoms.

Along with inhaled corticosteroids, budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort) is another way to relieve asthma symptoms. Formoterol (a long-acting version of salbutamol) works for up to 12-hours is combined with budesonide (a corticosteroid) to both keep the airways open and reduce irritation and inflammation.

Asthma medicines are usually delivered through metered-dose inhalers, asthma spacers or nebulisers. You need to learn the correct use of your delivery device(s) from your doctor so that you get the correct dose of medicines. For advice on proper inhaler use, please contact us or visit www.asthma.org.uk. It is important to use your inhalers as instructed by your GP, asthma nurse or pharmacist to manage your asthma effectively with minimal impact on your lifestyle.

There are can be some side effects with asthma medication, these include headaches, muscle cramps, tremor, anxiety and dry mouth. These normally indicate that you are using your inhaler too much or too often. If you experience side effects from your asthma inhalers you should discuss them with your GP.

After using brown preventer (steroid) inhalers, if you do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after taking the medication, there may be increased chances of oral candidiasis (oral thrush). You may also experience hoarseness, nasal congestion, headaches, rashes, dizziness and visual changes.


Asthma Research

Owing to the diverse side-effects that can be caused by existing asthma medicines, research is being conducted to check if antibodies can be used to reduce inflammation of the airways, thereby preventing asthma attacks. Plant oils and lifestyle modifications, as well as the role of enzymes, are also being researched as possible ways to treat asthma symptoms.

Asthma Prevention

Although asthma itself cannot be prevented, correctly using prescribed medication and making a number of lifestyle changes may avoid the onset of symptoms and asthma attacks.

Staying away from “triggers” can help to avoid exacerbations of your asthma. This includes staying away from as many allergens as possible. Air filtration can also be considered in order to keep your living environment free from allergic triggers.

Exercise not only helps to keep you fit and healthy, it can also help to keep your asthma under better control. Light exercise that doesn’t worsen your symptoms can be beneficial, increasing your lung capacity and giving you greater control over your breathing. It may be necessary for some people to take their blue reliever inhaler before exercise.

Get regular asthma reviews with your GP or asthma nurse. Your asthma control may better or worsen, but you should always have a plan in place with your healthcare team to ensure you know how to act whatever the circumstance. It is important to be open and honest with your GP, asthma nurse or pharmacist to ensure you receive the best treatment. Asthma should be a well-controlled condition where you using your reliever no more than a few times a week; this is the level of asthma control that everyone should aim for.

Take your inhalers as prescribed and ensure you have good inhaler technique. Using your corticosteroid preventer inhaler regularly and as prescribed will vastly increase your chances of keeping your asthma well controlled and limit your chances of a serious asthma attack. You should check with your healthcare team that your inhaler technique is good to ensure you are getting the most out of your inhalers.

Get the winter flu jab. People who suffer with asthma are more susceptible to catching flu, which is also a major trigger factor for asthma exacerbations. The flu jab is available free for all people with diagnosed asthma from their GP around October every year.

If you smoke, stopping smoking will significantly reduce the frequency and severity of your asthma symptoms.

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