Asthma UK community forum

How much ventolin?

Hi there, havent posted here for a while, everythings been going well ... until now!

I just wondered if there is a limit to how much ventolin you can take in 24 hours? Having a bit of a flare up at the moment, symptoms aren't severe, just persistent and ventolin is wearing off quickly!!

I tried to get in with GP but no appointments till next week. Obviously if my symptoms get severe I'll be seeking help straight away but just wondered if I can accidently take too much ventolin? I've been using a spacer to increase the dose getting into my lungs. Any other advice?

8 Replies

My understanding is that you can use your Ventolin every 30-60 minutes for up tp to 2-3 hours without any adverse effects. Best thing is to speak to your asthma nurse or check out this website for information.


When you phone your GP surgery for an appointment you might find it helpful to say that your asthma is flaring up and that you need an urgent appointment. Whenever I have said that my asthma was flaring up I have been offered an appointment the same day!! Always worth a try.


I have it on my records that i have a ""treat as urgent"" when asthma is mentioned because of my flare ups being so bad, that way you dont get your left ear being bitten off by the lovely receptionist telling you that there is nothing they can do blah blah blah...


I don't take Ventolin, but I've been in hospital with people who are on huge doses of the stuff (under close medical supervision, of course). In my opinion, the problem here is not so much about taking too much Ventolin, but of having asthma flaring up so badly that you need that much Ventolin.

My impression was that your GP should be able to see you within 24 hours if you're struggling with uncontrolled asthma - it might be worth trying to get in touch with the out of hours service if you're concerned.

Do you have a self-management plan? For me (with the proviso that everyone is different), if I'm needing to use my reliever medication more often than usual, I increase the dose of steroid that I take and get in touch with my doctor/asthma nurse. If I'm already on a high dose of steroid and still needing more reliever and/or struggling with uncontrolled symptoms, I get in touch with my doctor/asthma nurse straight away. If my peak flow is less than 50% of my best, they usually tell me to go to my local hospital. If not, I can usually hang on to be seen in clinic within a day or two to decide whether I need admission or whether we can manage things outpatient.

If you're reluctant to call your out of hours GP service or go to A&E or a walk-in clinic (I know - we all hate to make a fuss!), why not ring the asthma nurses from AUK or NHS direct? They should be able to give you some sensible advice and reassure you that you're not making a fuss if you do need to get some medical attention.

Hope you feel better soon!


My daughter needed OOH last night. We were told we can safely give her 3 lots of 10 puffs back to back through a spacer. Apparently this should hit an attack!

However with our other daughter we are told if she needs more than 10 puffs in the space of 4 hours then she should be in hospital and to get urgent medical help.

The latter advice is the one that seems most consistent throughout medics we've seen.

We have also been told you cannot actually overdose on ventolin, it will merely make your heart race and feel shaky but apart from that, is not too dangerous.

However, my advice would be, if you need increased reliever and it's not lasting, then you most definitely should pop along to OOH and get a check up

Take care,

Emily x


Thanks for your replies on this topic, I guess the answer is no you can't take too much, but if you're needing lots you should be seeking help!!

... which is what I did, i've been to docs, the practise Asthma specialist, of course my symptoms weren't that bad when I went so he said my airflow was quite good (yes, no mention of wheeze or lack of it, yippee!!), however he listened to my symptoms and checked PF which was down to 400, the lowest its EVER been and decided I needed a short course of pred.


Glad you got things more or less sorted BooBoo, hope the pred helps to clear things up.

This thread is interesting for me...I feel I have been sailing a little close to the wind given the figures quoted, especially at night. I know I'm nowhere near fully controlled yet, I am waiting for the montelukast to keep working but while I wait I seem to be hitting the reliever rather a lot (at least it works now - didn't before I was on the montelukast).

It seems to take 3 and sometimes 4 puffs at a go to get things more comfortable and I don't think it's lasting 4 hours most of the time, but on the other hand I managed before without any preventer and reliever at all and didn't have an attack or have to go to hospital - my asthma seems more to go in for daily ups and downs rather than attacks which is good but makes it all rather confusing about knowing if/when I should get help.



Make sure your spacer is AeroChamber


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