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How much blue is TOO much?

Okay - sorry if this has been answered before and for such a long post.

I'm struggling a bit at the moment, have upped my seretide to double (I'm allowed in the short term although it's unlicensed) and started steroids again yesterday (all according to my action plan).

BUT, I'm having to take a lot of reliever to stay on top of things. I'm not currently having an acute attack, just struggling to keep my PF at acceptable levels and constantly feelinga bit breathless so am taking a lot of blue inhaler to keep things up.

Consequently I have the ventolin shakes (which are never good) and a racing heartbeat (again due to the ventolin), I am also using my atrovent inhaler.

I know inhalers are safe to use a lot but how much ventolin is too much?

I'm taking a couple of puffs at least every twenty minutes or so and sometimes more often, I'm not blue and can hold a conversation but sometimes have to stop part way for a breath. I also have a very dry throat and an asthma cough (i.e.not a chest infection)

Any bright ideas anyone?

P.S. If at all worried I will definitely call for help and my family are all at home and aware of the situation.

17 Replies

wow!! every 20 mins is way too much blue!! sorry... u need to have a proper action plan in place... if u are still short of breath, PLEASE call an ambulance!


Hey snowygirl,

thanks for the reply. I have an action plan and have strict instructions on when to call the ambo and I'm not quite there yet. I usually use a lot of blue when not well. I'm not yet at action stations with my plan.....now I'm confused! Lol!

Is it really too much?


Do you have good access to your GP or an out of hrs Dr as i think using that much inhaler even if it still within your action plan isnt good and u need more help.

TBH i feel that your action plan should be reviewed as if it allows that much reliever u should be getting help in someform abllbeit not necessarily 999 help.


well... u should be able to manage AT LEAST hrly without needing blue, but this depends on the person and their needs from their specialist etc... and their action plan etc....

i.e. as i am so brittle if i cant manage 2-3hrly without blue or neb (except odd PRN) then i know i am in trouble and need ambulance...

its a very confusing thing, but you certainly shouldnt be still SOB after taking your blue inhaler, defeats the object?! :S


Hi, I'm really sorry you're struggling at the moment, but I'm glad you posted this question. My asthma definitely isn't as bad as yours and I have only just been diagnosed so don't have a preventer yet, but I have been using a lot of ventolin since it was prescribed. In fact I am going to need to ring the surgery for a repeat prescription as I'm worried it will run out before my appointment next week.

When my symptoms get bad two puffs often isn't enough and I have to take four or six to settle things down otherwise after a few minutes I'm right back to where I started again. If I catch symptoms early enough two puffs will last me quite a while though. Even after four puffs it doesn't always last that long, I had a coughing fit earlier, had four puffs which settled things down a bit, then after about 15 mins was coughing again, tried just to work through it but couldn't stop, PF down from 280 to 250 so had another four puffs and now am left with very sore ribs and a just slightly wheezy/breathless. Throughout all of this I could hold a conversation and move around so definitely not bad enough for A&E but I have worried about the same thing, that I am taking too much ventolin too often.


Wellllll, my action plan doesn't actually state how much ventolin or atrovent I can use - it goes on my PF. I've never been told how much I'm allowed to use, just that if my PF doesn't go up after ventolin then to call ambulance if below 250 (which is 50% for me). There is more on the plan but that's the essence of it at the red end.


if u slitely wheezy, or puffy, then out of hours GP but if acutely SOB + wheezy then 999 ....


hi Fee,I was told up to ten to twelve puffs of my easy haler equal to neb and if was ok could do it again if happend later in the day but go hospital if 10 or twelve not worked but they said ring up after 8 puffs together didnt help esp if on own xxx


if you kept that rate of ventolin up for 12 hours, you'd have half-emptied an inhaler & would need another one after only 2 days - that can't be right can it?

I agree with snowy - I'm sure that's way too much x


What you really need to do is see your GP or asthma nurse.

When my asthma got bad I found myself in your situation and 2 puffs don't really give enough relief. I found that by taking 6 puffs (preferably through a spacer) I got some relief for a longer period of time and the overally quantity taken was no more than taking a couple of puffs so often. You do really need to agreee this with your asthma nurse or GP though. I asked the question how much is ok and was told ""if you need it take it"" I ended up with a nebuliser at home which helps enormously, but I know opinion is divided on this subject.

Best Wishes


Seeing my surgery asthma nurse today......and they blew the whistle on me so I also have to see my hospital respiratory nurse on the 7th......ah well.....at least I can ask them too!

Thanks for all the replies folks....I'll let you know what they say :)



Well that was a HUGE waste of time! Saw the doc not the nurse and he said ""Keep doing what you're doing and following your action plan, goodness yes that is a lot of ventolin but just keep following your plan.....probably best to ask the hospital about that.....and I want you to come back again in the morning to the surgery if you're not in hospital!""

They did give me a neb so I spose it wasn't all bad!


Oh dear, doctor wasnt very helpful was he??? At least they gave you a neb! I think sometimes GPs are a bit out of their depth with difficult asthma. Hope things improve for you Feejay. xx


Feejay, my asthma con told me take 10 puffs e very 3 to 4 hours for few days when really bad and you carnt overdose on that and no daily max amount just if not lasting 3 hours get checked out x


oh dear you are going through it, seems a lot of ventolin. Perhaps your asthma nurse/doc needs to review your preventatives, they are obviously not doing their job have another chat if you can. Hope you get sorted soon x


Are you using the AeroChamber with your puffers?


Always use my volumatic or aerochamber with inhalers - when struggling can't use them without. I'm seeing my resp nurse at the hospital on Monday but have decided to ask for a referral to a specialist centre. They did discuss it last admission but never followed it up. I have decided I am fed up with the amount of admissions I am having and want more control.


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