How to Take Your Inhalers?

It is extremely important to realize that if we choose to take inhalers then they should be taken with a correct technique. Experience world over suggest that many patients are not taking their inhalers properly. This would hence lead to a poor response to the medicine. This is the commonest reason when someone says that that inhalers are not working for me or my child.

We have also seen that the technique might be good initially but over time may not be as good. This happens if the technique is not supervised and children are taking inhalers on their own. As a rule I would check Inhaler technique each time a child would come for consultation. This sometimes looks like policing to the parents but believe me this is the most critical step.

 

How do I get to know whether my child’s inhalers have finished?

Most current inhalers have a dose counter. You can read how many doses are used. Some inhalers do not have these dose counters. In such cases a diary has to be maintained regarding how many doses have been used.
It should be remembered that inhalers have a finite number of doses. It cannot be used after these have been finished. Inhalers would continue to spray even after the doses have been finished. This happens because the propellents and preservatives continue to come out, although the amount of the medicine is almost nil.
Kindly do not use your inhalers beyond the specified number of doses.

Do’s

  1. Always give your inhalers with spacers as we have demonstrated to you.
  2. Please bring your inhalers and spacers each time you come for consultation.
  3. Demonstrate the technique each time to us so that we can correct any step which is not done properly.
  4. Give the preventive inhaler regularly without missing any doses.
  5. If you have used the reliever inhaler (salbutamol or levosalbutamol) kindly get in contact with us at the earliest.

Don’ts

  1. Do not give inhalers without spacers.
  2. Do not leave children unsupervised while taking inhalers.
  3. Do not continue giving reliever inhalers without consultation.

Related Links

  1. The Metered Dose Inhaler: Children Hospital of Philadelphia.
  2. Inhalers and spacers for young children. Asthma UK.
  3. How to use a Inhaler with spacer: Children Hospital of Philadelphia.
  4. How to take inhalers with spacers and mask in young children. Sick Kids children’s Hospital Canada.