Inhaler caused acute laryngitis? - Asthma Community ...

Asthma Community Forum

19,104 members23,150 posts

Inhaler caused acute laryngitis?

exlibris profile image

I don't know if anyone can help me on this one. I've got laryngitis and have been speaking in a dodgy way for over a week - it's driving me mad because I've been told I need to rest my voice and I'm a real chatterbox! I've been reading up on laryngitis and I've found a reference that says some asthma inhalers using corticosteroids can be the cause. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm using Clenil Modulite 200 (2 doses twice a day) and Bricanyl Turbohaler (as and when, but needed it a lot recently) and I'm having trouble finding out if they could be to blame.

Part of my work is storytelling, so I really don't want this to be a regular thing!

Any advice gratefully received.

22 Replies

go on to the asthma uk website and get the number to speak asthma nurse they are very helpful 

exlibris profile image
exlibris in reply to 54321pugs

Thanks, I'll take a look.

Definitely. A few years ago I tried seretide. Long story short I ended up with severe laryngitis. Endless throat infections and problems with my asthma as more I took the worse it would get. As a musician and music teacher it was awful. In the end I stopped taking everything and had to wait for voice to improve. I now use fostair as particles are very fine. The only time I've had a slight issue since is during exacerbation when using lots of inhalers and nebs. If problems keep occurring despite rinsing etc then maybe change preventers? Hope that helps. 

Hi Reed, did you happen to notice how long you'd been on those previous inhalers before they started causing you the throat trouble? And did doctors explain what type of problem exactly it was - laryngitis or something else? To add to that, was it all accompanied by high temperature?


Hi, it was a few years ago when my asthma was badly controlled so details are little fuzzy but I remember my voice already being affected by the amount of ventolin I was taking. I think my hayfever wasn't helping either so once my voice was already damaged the seretide inhaler where you have to suck in the powder quickly seemed to make everything worse. It helped my breathing at first but my throat was so sore and swollen to the point I struggled to swallow or talk. I had a temperature and gp prescribed antibiotics. It got to the point where I was regularly taking nebs and gp sent me to see tje consultant. 

ReedB profile image
ReedB in reply to ReedB

Overall I had problems from around May time to Christmas, wasn't a great year! 

Sorry to hear that! :/


I expect you have been told all this, but just in case you haven't: you need to take your inhalers  with slow, deep breaths so the stuff goes into your lungs not shoots to the back of your throat. Then clean your teeth, rinse your mouth thoroughly, gargle loudly once, then swallow twice - fresh water every time, of course. Resting your voice, and speaking only in a whisper when absolutely necessary is esssential.

I was told that having done all this, my voice loss was acid reflux, so I took omeprozole which was a waste of NHS money as it made no difference. Then it was stress and then it was 'just one of those things'. I do hope you are very careful with your voice and have much better luck!

I took 54321pugs advice and spoke to the Asthma UK nurse - looks like I've been doing at lot wrong and I need to go back to my Asthma nurse and get some changes. I think I've been inhaling incorrectly and although I brush my teeth after taking the Clenil I don't think I've been as thorough with the back of my throat. Thanks for the advice.

Hello there ,I used to get that a lot untill I started using a child's spacer ,they do adult ones but I like the smaller one ,now no more sore throats from inhalers .Ask the doc or your asthma nurse .Hope you get it sorted .😇🙏🏻

exlibris profile image
exlibris in reply to Matrix

Argh! The dreaded spacer! You're probably right, my pride is getting in the way! :)

Matrix profile image
Matrix in reply to exlibris

Well it stopped my sore throats ,I have a tiny one .Hope you sort it out soon .

Matrix profile image
Matrix in reply to exlibris

Well it's only you that has to see it,the small one fits into a bag . Go on you know you can x

exlibris profile image
exlibris in reply to Matrix

You are the voice of reason.....I'll ask my asthma nurse :)

(Maybe I could get a patterned one that's more rock 'n' roll.....)

Matrix profile image
Matrix in reply to exlibris

It has been said . You can custom do it yourself , loads of stuff around for that . Love the way your thinking though. X

Hi Exlibris  I started using Seritide about 3 weeks ago.  I had an infection last month and was changed from Serevent and Pulmicort to Symbicort, which did not work for me.  I don't think the Seritide is going to be much better as I have been taking my Bricanyl much more than I have been in years of having Asthma.  Well I wakened up this morning with a sore throat which I thought would disappear as the day has gone on. No such luck but now I am hoping after reading your post that it doesn't go into Laryngitis.  I think if it does it will be the Seritide not the Bricanyl and my GP mentioned to me not to dispose of the Serevent and Pulmicort as I may need to go back to them but they did nothing after the infection.  I had to laugh to myself of course.  I see him again in four weeks so I hope my throat is better by then and yours as well (Not taking four weeks of course)  This is all a hit and a miss.  I have had Asthma since a child and this has been a real relapse and surprise to me as I am  no youngster now so at least I don't have to do out to employment.  Anyway take care.....

exlibris profile image
exlibris in reply to Teigan01

I think my Bricanyl is innocent in my case too. I took 54321pugs advice and called the Asthma UK nurse and she made a lot of suggestions in changing how I took my medication, so I'll be going back to my Asthma nurse with things to discuss! I hope you don't get the laryngitis too, I've been off work for over a week and you don't know how much you talk in one day until the Dr say's "rest your voice - no talking!"

I hope they get your meds sorted out :)

Teigan01 profile image
Teigan01 in reply to exlibris

Hi exilbris So pleased to hear that you have ruled out Bricanyl. Just to say my throat is still dry but not so that I can't speak.  I will keep an eye on it and meantime I am thoroughly rinsing my mouth and gargling then brushing my teeth putting the brush to the back of my tongue and then using a mouthwash so I hope with care I don't advance to laryngitis and just hope that the Seritide improves my breathing but I am having to use my Bricanyl more.  Take care and keep rinsing (sounds a bit Brucie) but keep rinsing.

Hey there Exilbtis.

Just wondering if you managed to get it controlled or not, and since I have been experiencing increased vocal laryngitis, that I would share my experiences too

Was originally on symbicort and bricanyl for 15 years, then I developed thrush from the symbicort and they tried advair and that made things worse. Then they put me on zenhale six years ago. Between my zenhale and bricanyl there had been no issues. But then after getting very ill with ongoing successive upper chest and lung infections for 15 months, from out of no where, I developed laryngitis. This was the month before the covid-19 pandemic started in 2020. At first the laryngitis was not at all puffer related or seemed non-puffer related but then it started happening off and on such that I fought it during most of 2020, but then went away so I thought it was all done with. , Then as an experiment i started taking my puffers less in 2021 to see if that would help lessen the symptoms, which it seemed to do, but of course that was not a good long term solution. Then due to illness during all of 2022 so far, especially over the last eight weeks, as I was taking my puffers more out of necessity, I noticed rhe puffer induced laryngitis came back with a vengeance. It seemed to be worse the more I used zenhale, but the bricanyl also seemed to contribute to it too. Regardless, I was either having various vocal issues and/or starting ro losing my voice on a semi sporadic and random but almost regular basis. Given that I am on the phone all day at work and am also a narrator, voiceover artist, voice actor, and singer, I was and still am concerned. My research and my doctor had explained that sometimes the medications can get stuck in the throat but that rinsing and gargling should minimize the issues and that they should get resolved within a few hours. That was and is no longer occurring, and now it turns out that I have covid/post-covid syndrome/long covid, and am on prednisone to try to help that. My bricanyl is still in use when necessary but I haven't used it in a week and am off my zenhale for the rest of the month, so though I am already certain that my zenhale is now contributing to the issues and that my bricanyl may be too, l may have to retry at least the bricanyl again to reconfirm and see if the issues come back as they do say that the turbocharger powders can get stuck more easily even though I am finding more issues with the regular inhaler now it seems, but either way we will try to figure out a solution, probably by trying other medications, and once I know of a better solution than the non solution if going off my puffers, throat coat tea, and gargling with salt water, I will share it here. Hope that your issues are resolved. Take care and stay safe.

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataAdministrator in reply to Lankyweasel635

This is quite an old post, so I doubt you'll get a reply from the OP.

I can see that you've acknowledged going off your medication isn't the best solution and that you have asked your doctor about this already, but I wanted to reinforce that for others reading - please don't stop or reduce your medications by yourself, even if you're getting side effects, as it can leave you at risk of an asthma attack.

I googled Zenhale and it seems it was never licensed in the EU/Europe - are you outside the UK? You mentioned Advair, which is the US name for what we call Seretide, so I'm wondering if you're in the US.

Have you already tried using a metered dose inhaler (MDI) with a spacer to see if that works better? You should be able to get MDIs for both reliever and preventer, though I'm less sure if Bricanyl is available as an MDI - have you tried Ventolin (salbutamol/albuterol) as a reliever? That should definitely be available as an MDI.

If you are in the UK I would suggest calling the Asthma UK Nurses to see if they have any suggestions (AUK helpline - 0300 222 5800 M-F 9-5;AUK WhatsApp - 07378 606728) and then discussing those with your doctor or asthma nurse.

If you're outside the UK that may be harder, but please still see your doctor and discuss other options - includingMDI and spacer.

Hello Lysistrata.

Thank you for the reply.

Yes, going off my medications, especially without doctor approval is not effective in general, I agree, however, seeing as I have dealt with lung issues my life and also ran a charity for lung disease for 13 years, I am well aware of not self mediating and such, and only did so initially under the guise of my doctor's approval and knowledge. Regardless, it is important to not put yourself at risk of an asthma attack or any other lung issues by going off of your medications.

However, nonetheless, I am in Canada, and have been on symbicort turbuhaler, advair regular MDI puffer, alvesco regular MDI puffer, and zenhale regular MDI puffer. With the regular MDI puffers I also always have used an aerochamber or spacer. Ventolin had not been used since I was an infant and reacted to it, but I actually used ventolin at my last PFTs in 2019 and 2020 without an issue, as for some reason they requested me to use it instead of my bricanyl, so when I see my doctor on April 11th, we are going to be discussing what options I can take from her in dealing with my current issues and in fighting the ongoing post-covid syndrom / long-covid now, seeing as even wirth doubling my zenhale and bricanyl as per my asthma plan, they were not meeting my asthma needs, and my peakflow values were approaching emergency room levels, so this plus the ongoing thrush and laryingitis issues need to be resolved.

The predinsone will run out as of this Friday, so I tried to book an appointment with my doctor, but the earilest appointment I can get is April 11th, three weeks from now, so based on his request for me to maintain my bricanyl while taking the predinsone, at minimum, I will have to restart regularly using my bricanyl between March 26th and April 26th , and quite possibly my zenhale, to see how well they will help fight things now that the predinsone will be done, regardless of whether or not they most likely bring back the ongoing no longer acute thrush and laryingitis issues.

Either way, thank you for your response.

If you have any further suggestions, I would welcome them.

Stay safe and stay awesome.

Gerry :)

yes indeed, I found seriods inhalers to leave me voiceless at times, I now use symbicort, which is not as bad. Also when inhaling do not inhal to fast or the substance ends up at et the back of your throty rather than in your lungs, thereby irritating your voice, at least that's my theory.

You may also like...