About Ventolin Reliever Inhalers

Reliever inhalers are designed to give relief from sudden asthma attacks and asthma symptoms. Usually coloured blue, these devices administer medication to open your airways when they’re constricted during asthma episodes.

Who uses reliever inhalers?

Reliever inhalers are used by people who deal with asthma and its associated symptoms. They are designed to be used in emergencies, though, and should not be used more than a few times a week.

Doctors prescribe them to both children and adults. They will try different versions to find what works best for you.

Can you use preventers and reliever inhalers together?

Preventers are designed to get medicine to where it’s needed within the body, usually by going to the lungs. The corticosteroids then build up there to help keep swelling and inflammation down when there is an attack. This process takes a lot of time, though, and so preventative inhalers work best when used regularly, even when asthma symptoms have not appeared for a while. Relievers send their medicine to the airways using bronchodilators, opening them up during asthma attacks so air can go through.

Both of these medicines target different parts of the body, they can both be used as part of an action plan to deal with asthma symptoms and attacks. In fact, using both of them can improve their effectiveness. For example, using a preventer will help to build up your defense against inflammation and swelling. This can reduce the risk you have of encountering asthma attacks, and can reduce the severity of those attacks, so that you have to use your reliever less often.

How to use my reliever inhaler

To get the most out of your medication, it’s important to use your inhaler effectively. While your doctor will describe to you how to use your new medication, here are general steps you can follow in case you forget. Make sure to practice the use of your reliever inhaler even when you don’t need it, so that when you have an asthma attack you remember what to do even with all the stress and distraction.

If using a metered dose inhaler, you must follow a few simple steps.

  • Remove the cap from the inhaler, and shake it a few times before use.
  • After testing, tilt your chin up, breathe out, and put your mouth close to the mouthpiece (about two inches away).
  • Press down on the canister, and breathe the medicine in slowly.
  • If you need more than one dose as per your prescription, wait a minute, then perform again.

If you’re using a Breath Actuated Inhaler, you will follow most of the steps already outlined in the section on metered dose inhalers. Instead of having your mouth away from the device though, you will put your mouth on the mouthpiece itself. Inhale, and the device will administer the spray, which you just breathed in. If you have not used the inhaler before, you will have to prime it first, which you do by pressing the test fire slide.

  • To use a dry powder inhaler, hold the inhaler level to the floor, open the mouthpiece facing you, and slide the lever on it until you hear a click.
  • Do not slide the lever after you do it once, and don’t tip the device, or the medicine will slide out.
  • Breathe in and out, then put your mouth on the mouthpiece and inhale the medicine.

Other than those specific instructions, keep your inhaler well maintained so that it lasts longer and effectively. For dry powder, do not leave around moisture. Do not drop the inhaler, and if you notice any problems, report them to the doctor.

The three types of reliever inhaler

There are three types of inhalers to choose from that will be prescribed to you by a doctor. These are Metered Dose Inhalers (MDI), Breath Actuated Inhalers (BAI), and Dry Powder Inhalers (DPI). Each inhaler delivers its medicine in different ways, and you should use what works easiest for you. Some devices require more coordination than others to use. Also, some inhalers may direct the medication straight towards the back of the throat (such as when using high steroid dose inhalers) and this can increase the chance of thrush.

Metered Dose Inhalers are made of a canister inside a plastic case and have a mouthpiece. They deliver their medicine in an aerosol or spray form, and they give a precise amount of medicine each time they are used. You press on the button, and inhale the medicine into your airways where it opens them. The small size of these inhalers means they are easy to carry and use throughout the day.

Breath Actuated Inhalers are like metered dose inhalers in that they deliver an aerosol spray. However, the way they do this is different. Rather than pressing a button on inhaling the medicine, the medicine is dispensed when you inhale into the mouthpiece.

Dry Powder Inhalers are as described medicine that you inhale in powder form. You have to inhale the entire dose in a couple of breaths. Because of this, the easiest inhalers to use show clearly how much is left. These types of medication are not usable by young children.

Are there any side effects of reliever inhalers?

Like any medication, there are potential side effects to using reliever inhalers. However, reliever inhalers are very safe and come with few side effects generally. After using their relief inhaler, some side effects that have been reported include having shaky muscles, or faster heartbeats. However, neither of these side effects have lasted long.

Steroid inhalers may also cause your throat to become sore. This is known as thrush infection, and the risk of this occurring can be lessened by washing your mouth after using the medicine.

In addition to those side effects, the different medications may also have other side effects if they are combined with other medicines. Doctors must be informed of any medications you’re using before they can prescribe more.