Inhalers- and value for money? - Lung Conditions C...

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Inhalers- and value for money?

blindman72 profile image
11 Replies

Some years ago I was advised , that in order to check the contents of my inhaler I should remove the pressurised phial from the applicator and suspend the phial in a tall glass of water.

If it sinks ,the indications are there is medicine present and if it floats there is probably little or no medicine present ,only propellant . I know you have to shake the inhaler prior to use, which I do ,but it seems to me that it is still running out very quickly.

In particular I am referring to the 'Ventolin' I am prescribed as a reliever for as and when , so it's used often ,depending on circumstances. In the winter time especially it barely lasts a fortnight

I'd like to know what others think about this

11 Replies
Lol1944 profile image

I write the date on the phial at start of use and at a out twenty days or so of use estimate if time to discard. Very rarely in winter do I get it to last a month . Use much less in Summer so tend to build up a stock for the winter months.

Patk1 profile image

Usually 200 puffs in salbutamol.

Alberta56 profile image

Interesting. I never thought of trying to see how much Ventolin was left.

MoyB profile image

I read the advice about floating the canister on the Asthma site and it works well for me as I'm an infrequent user, but when I need it I need it fast! So I keep one by my bed, one in the kitchen and one in my handbag. However, something I forgot to do was check the use by dates. I had an asthma flare-up recently and only then discovered two were well out of date. That explained why I needed a lot more puffs to get the attacks to calm down.

New ventolin replacements and all now working as expected.

Xx Moy

Tykelady profile image
Tykelady in reply to MoyB

I looked up out of date medication and it seems that although it will do no harm the potency will be less. I do feel that having multiple inhalers is a good idea though.

Izb1 profile image

I dont understand why there cant be a counter on the inhaler like some others have, it would save alot of confusion x

MoyB profile image
MoyB in reply to Izb1

I totally agree. I used to take a daily preventer that was the same shape and size as the ventolin and that had an unnecessary counter on it - if you take regularly twice a day you can work out when you need to replace it. I can't understand why they don't put a counter on the ventolin. It seems common sense to me.Xx Moy

anng18 profile image

Hi blindman72

I have noticed in the last months that my inhaler does not seem to last as long - I am pretty consistent in how I use it and wondered if there had been a few bad batches - in respect of not so much in them as there should be - I have also had to clean the blue plastic bit a lot more as it seems to get clogged!

Karenanne61 profile image

Interestingly I had a problem with my 'trixeo' not working/releasing the medication. Initially neither gp or boots would replace but finally gp reluctantly wrote another script. I was storing it in the bathroom but now keep it in my 'dressing room'. (I'm fancy!😂) The 'alvesco' is fine being stored in the bathroom!

Ergendl profile image

A new inhaler wasn't working so well. When I took the canister out of the plastic holder, I found the nozzle was bent. Once I had straightened it, it worked OK.

Bardear profile image

Ventolin lasts 25 days if used 2 inhalations x 4 times a day which is worked out as follows.

2 inhalations x 4 times a day = 8 inhalations a day

therefore = 8 inhalations x 25 days = 200 inhalations.


If you are running out before this time then you are probably using your inhaler too much and should keep an eye on this. I used to find that if I used it more times than prescribed - which is four times a day as required (which means 4 times NOT as and when) - I would get a nasty heavy headache.

Can I suggest that a spacer may be the answer as it was for me because the spacer gets the Ventolin into the lungs quicker and better than the usual route. It may also help as you may not be emptying your lungs fully OR inhaling deeply enough. I know the feeling but practice makes perfect or so they say. The spacer helps it really does.

Failing all this see your GP or Practice Nurse but do try the spacer route. I recommend it

Keep safe and well


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