Asthma UK community forum


Does anyone here use Intal - it's an older drug but we're trying it in any vain hope to keep off the smarties. :)

I've just started it and I'm struggling a bit with it - wondered if this was normal and if I'll get used to it - the pharmasist said not to use a spacer which I do for my other inhalers - anyone know why not, as these issues may be because I'm used to having everything else through the spacer.

I'm finding after taking it that I cough quite badly and my airways feel really tight, as they do in an asthma attack. It passes, but it's not nice - is this normal and will it settle once I'm more used to it?

10 Replies

I was on this for about 2 months with the same idea as you but it failed... I found it didnt settle i would just be coughing straight after I think its got to do with the larger particles even when I used salbutamol beforehand.

ive heard it generally isnt much use these days!


Hi Ratty, Intal was the new wonder drug for me in the 1970s - it brought my asthma under moderate control and I was able to leave long term hospitalisation and resume school. I stopped taking it a long time ago, but do remember I often coughed a little bit after taking it (took it twice a day).

I didnt know it was still prescribed, but do persist with taking it, and see if it helps you.


About 20 years ago took Intal in rotacap form for excercise induced asthma and from what I can remember the powder had a nasty taste and made me cough loads when I took it. To be honest did not control the asthma (nothing changes much to this day medication wise).


I also had Intal when it was first introduced, and it did help me at the time but yes the cough was a real problem because then it only came in a rotor powder form, quite irritating to one's throat & airways, & the resultant cough was such it made me wheezy anyway!

My gp at the time suggested taking two puffs of ventolin just after the dose, to reverse airway inflammation, and that worked better - but later on Intal became available in ordinary aerosol form. Has that been discontinued? I later moved on to Tilade, another aerosol of the same type of drug

sometimes these ""old drugs"" are worth a try - look how useful aspirin has been found to be



Thanks for your replies. It's an MDI, but very 'powdery' compared with my other inhalers - I did wonder why it had instructions to be cleaned so often. It's really making me cough and restricting my airways, but I'll stick with it for now - I'm seeing my GP next week so I'll discuss whether to take Ventolin at the same time.

I am a bit concerned because my PEFs have fallen (after finally getting them up - damn!) since being on it and I do feel quite 'asthmay' (new word of the day - I think you peeps will understand what I mean though!) but that drop also ties in with my not so clever exercise idea, so it could be a coincidence.

I've also got a sore throat - I don't know if that's the Intal, or if I'm coming down with something (which could also explain the lower PEFs).


Ratty, everyone's answered the coughing question, so I'll have a go at the spacer one which might help if the problem's due to excess Intal - roughly 10% of an MDI dose reaches the lungs so all the rest is deposited elsewhere.

In the old days there was a large volume spacer for Intal and Tilade called the Fisonair, but it's no longer available.

See section 4.2:

Small volume spacers like the Aerochamber decrease the amount of Intal reaching the lungs so aren't recommended (probably because the ""puff"" is quite large compared to Ventolin), whereas large volume spacers like the Fisonair and Volumatic increase it.

They've managed to get around the spacer problem in Australia by using mouthpiece adaptors for the Volumatic (a tube-like bit of plastic that fits both together). Another way to use the Volumatic that might work is to hold the inhaler against the mouthpiece port of a Volumatic and release a puff into the spacer as normal (but discuss it with your doctor first before experimenting!). Although it's not recommended using an Aerochamber might work too if the reduced dose of Intal is enough to be effective (iirc the CFC MDI used to be available as a 2mg inhaler as not everyone needed 5mg).

I've tried using an Aerochamber, but found that the MDI alone gives better results. The spacer becomes very powdery with use though so it would probably be sensible to have an Intal only one as it might need more cleaning than usual.


Ginny, that's really helpful, thanks. I'll have a chat with my doc about it and see if we can find a solution. Do you think I could get a trip to Australia on prescription so I could go and pick up one of those adapters?! :D Or a more sensible solution - do you know if it's possible to get the adapters sent to the UK?


If only ... :)!

Not sure if it is possible to order online. Searching on google gave an out of stock result (will pm link as it contains a picture) and there's also the risk of using a card payment online on an unfamiliar overseas website.


Thanks everyone for your help/suggestions here and by PM. I shall ask my GP for a trip to Australia tomorrow. :)

A question - my PEFs plumetted around the time I started Intal (in addition to the SOB and coughing I get after taking it), but it was also the time I pushed it too far with the exercise. My PEFs haven't picked up at all and are encrouching on my 'get help' level, and I feel pretty crap. I have a GP appointment booked for tomorrow morning.

How do I know if my PEFs/symptoms are due to the Intal or the over-exercise? I would have thought if it was the exercise things would have picked up in nearly a week, but then the Intal's supposed to make things better too??? I want to give the Intal a good try, but what if it is that that's making things worse?


I saw my GP. Asthma's awful and she isn't happy, she's told me to go home and do nothing and put my feet up and work on getting my peak flows up, with strict instructions to get help if things get any worse. I've stopped the Intal for now just so we can be sure that isn't the issue and that it is *just* my lungs being grumpy. Been home 3 hours, on my third cup of tea, and I'm BORED!!!!!!! :D


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