Asthma UK community forum

How much ventolin?

My little girl, Maddie is having a tough time again. :(

She has a horrific nocturnal cough again and is retching. We were up most of the night with her last night once more.

Does anyone know the amount of ventolin that is equivalent to a neb? She takes it through a volumatic. We gave her lots ladt night but it made little difference!

Fingers crossed for a better night tonight.

5 Replies

Generally it's thought that 10 puffs through a spacer (and volumatic is definitely the way to go) is as effective as a nebuliser. However don't do them all at the same time as you may then get just the propellant from your inhaler, do them at least 10 seconds apart. However if this isn't working properly or your having to do it frequently your daughter is obviously in a poorly state and calling an ambulance/doctor probably wouldn't be a bad idea.

Hope she picks up soon


Hi if the meds are not working I would get help, Matty had the same problem with coughing, hardly coughs now he's older and doesn't wheeze just goes out cold. There comes a point when the ventolin just isn't enough,we have a nebuliser but sometimes even that's not enough. Matty has a code word of oxy, I then dial 999 so he can have nebs with oxygen.

Good luck, it's exhausting

kate x


Worse night last night! :(

Every two hours we were giving her loads of ventolin through the volumatic.

Took her to the gp first thing and shes back on pred.


Years of 4 and 5 year old with persistent nocturnal asthmatic cough/retching, learnt something new

Hi there

I am on tonight/this morning, as it is now getting colder and my two children have taken a dip for the worse with their asthma. Since they were infants they have been bothered by this persistent cough at night which invariably makes them retch and eventually be sick whilst continuing to cough. Just watching them is so distressing. My sons symptoms got so bad recently that as he is on the max dose of his inhalers, following a chest infection, he was finally referred to the hospital.

The upshot of this was that a respiratory/asthma nurse recently carried out a home visit to go over a personal asthma action plan (the likes of which i have never heard of) and I was finally educated in what they call 'multidosing' their ventolin inhaler.

Basically, she told me that when I feel they are sickening for something (you can generally tell, I have lost count of the times I have said to my family, ""I'm going to have a bad night with her/him tonight""and I've been spot on"" to start giving them 3/4 hourly doses of their ventolin rather than waiting until they are very poorly. The maximum dose is 10 puffs every 3/4 hours, tho I was advised to try 5 first if their symptoms were not particularly acute. If they need it more than this in the space of the 4 hour window, the apparent rule of thumb is that this is when u seek medical advice. Similarly, if you have been 'multi-dosing' at the max 10 puffs every 4 hours and their symptoms are not improving they need more help. Or if you have been 'multi-dosing at 5 puffs every 3/4 hours for 3 or 4 days to seek medical attention also.

I thought I had this all clear in my head until my daughter started showing signs of congestion on Friday, a sure sign she was taking a cold like illness and would probably require 'muli-dosing'.

Sure enough, no sooner had I started this regime til she started with the usual coughing at night (3am was her favourite time poor wee lamb, I could have set my watch by her) That said, I went between the 10 puffs when she seemed really bad to the 5 puffs when it seemed her symptoms were easing etc. This carried on for a few days and although I could see she was not desperately ill, she was still symptomatic, ie, coughing whilst out playing/laughing/and at night. Following the aforementioned guidance, and given that I had been multi-dosing for 3/4 days, I contacted my GP.

She has increased her Clenil (steroid inhaler) to 400mcg per day the same as her brother. I could kick myself, I even mentioned that the difference between the two of them was marked and he was already on the higher dose, and as if to make me sound a complete fool, my son is now every bit as bad if not worse.

I have now been up all night with them and am desperate. I can't escape the feeling that they are on medication that may not be making a blind bit of difference and that their condition may not be any better or any worse if they were not on it. I realise I am being irrational in saying this because they have both been largely better since their medication was reviewed back in June and instead of the usual 2/3 weeks of being up coughing at night when they are unwell, it has been isolated on these occasions to 1 or 2 nights etc. This alone is respite for the wee souls.

I am at my wits end with it, but only hope that by posting my experience of their illness, it will maybe help someone else as you all have helped me in feeling less isolated in this.

Last of all, I should say, I do feel slightly let down that it has taken for my sons symptoms to become so bad for me to finally get the education regarding this condition and how to use their inhalers effectively when they are now 4 and 5 and have had these inhalers prescribed since they were babies.

Perhaps if I had been educated a bit sooner they would not now be on the huge amounts of steroid inhaler that they are at present.

Lastly, if any of you have children with asthma, ask at your surgery for their personal asthma acion plan. Apparently ALL people with asthma/being treated for asthma should have one to follow. Something else i have only just discovered. I now have one for both of my children finally, and although still struggling to accept it all and decide how best to deal with it all, it is good to have something to refer to, even if you are still a little unsure how to interpret the information contained in it.

Sorry for the long post, I do hope it is in some way helpful to someone.

Thanks for reading x


hope she improves now that she is back on the pred....


You may also like...