Dr Mark Rosenthal

MD MB ChB FRCP FRCPCH BSc

Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

also specialist in Food Allergies & Disorders of Sleep

A | A | A

T: 0207 351 8832

E: s.harvey@rbht.nhs.uk

A:The Royal Brompton Hospital, London, SW3 6NP

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Most people who have asthma are able to manage their symptoms effectively using medication. However, inhalers are only able to prevent or relieve symptoms when they are being used correctly.

asthma inhalers

Misuse of Asthma Medication

Misuse of asthma medication can have serious consequences. Failing to use the preventer inhaler can leave children needing to rely on their reliever inhaler more often. When the medication isn’t being used correctly, children are more likely to experience symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. The risk of a serious asthma attack will also be increased, which in severe cases could even be fatal.

As many as 4000 children are admitted to hospital every month because of asthma, but with proper use of inhalers this number could be halved. Doctors and parents need to work together to ensure that children are getting the right medication and using inhalers correctly. It is essential to follow the doctor’s instructions to ensure that the correct dose is delivered to the lungs, rather than becoming trapped in the mouth or throat.

Tips for Using Asthma Inhalers Correctly

  • Use the right inhaler. Most children will have a blue reliever inhaler to use if symptoms occur and a brown or orange preventer inhaler to be used regularly to prevent symptoms from developing.
  • Children should breathe out before using the inhaler so that they will be able to take a deep breath when they use it to ensure that the medication reaches their lungs properly
  • The canister should be pressed down as the child begins to breathe in and they should then take a deep breath
  • The doctor may recommend that the child holds his or her breath after taking the medication as this can ensure the lungs have enough time to absorb the drug
  • Different inhalers may need to be used in different ways, so make sure you check with your doctor or pharmacist if your child has been prescribed a new medication

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