Spacer question

Using Intal MDI through a spacer (if I spray it straight in is horrible, kind of burning and makes me cough a bit). However, I have noticed stuff coming out of the top of the canister when I press down using the spacer - doesn't seem to happen going straight in without one.

I always thought this was what happens when you use an MDI without a spacer and your technique isn't great - this is what the Ventolin leaflet says anyway. But thought using a spacer was a lot more foolproof and this wouldn't happen. Am I doing something wrong (press down, breathe in slowly through spacer and hold breath) or could there be an issue with the spacer? I know not many people use Intal but wondered if this had been an issue with steroid MDIs. The Intal seems to be doing something for me but obviously I would like as much as possible to reach my lungs.

10 Replies

  • is your space clean, of connected properly, i know when i used to use a spacer, if it wasnt clean then it wouldnt flow through as easily, and if it wasnt connected post a wash then it would escape back out again.

    it shouldnt really matter if you breath in as you spray it, as thats why they are great for smaller children as they cant always get the concept of breathing in as you spray, and the chamber tends or should hold the medicine in untill you then next inhale


  • Thanks for reply Charlie. I've just checked and it is connected properly, as far as I can see. I've just cleaned it but can see it may need it again - Intal seems to be quite messy and leaves a lot of powder around (I have to wash the inhaler casing twice a week).

    Maybe I need a new spacer...this one is about a year old, though I haven't been using it constantly for a year. It does say you should get a new one every year though...ugh more trips to pharmacy, they know my name now without having to ask especially after surgery managing to mess up two prescriptions this week!

  • o my that is rubbish ... i just remembered also that if it mine isnt 100% dry either the water droplets left in it effect how it workd!


  • Hmm, have just looked inside and there is powder EVERYWHERE! Guess I need to give it another wash - Intal really is the messiest inhaler I've come across, but as it seems to be working I don't care too much.

  • Don't know about intal & spacer but have also got to know pharmacists this week too. Had prescription from ENT followup late last Friday. As their pharmacy was closed had to get it from the nearby Boots just before it closed, came away with 1 of 3 items. They had to order one and check antibiotic dose which didn't exist as written.

    Grrr, after much time wasted on several phone calls with Boots/pharmacy ... finally had correct items posted from hospital pharmacy with much increased dose antibs. The Boots store manager came to my house with missing antibs. as their pharmacist couldn't count. Turned out as suspected he had an ulterior motive and wanted the boxes for incident report. Sounds like they lost the original prescription sheet.

    Edit to add; I can see why it is meant to be cleaned quite often too & the info leaflet looks good with the dose counter chart and canister weight

  • I forgotten the reason but a hospital asthma nurse told me not to use a spacer with Intal

  • Hmm, probably because it leaves powder everywhere! I have been very kindly informed by other members with experience of Intal (of which there aren't many) that it may be possible to get a spacer out of the manufacturers, so going to try that. Thanks very much for the pointers, I had absolutely no idea there was a special one or that it might be possible to acquire it!

    TJ, I lost my spacer leaflet ages ago but don't remember that for the Aerochamber? Mine is an Able spacer.

  • Intal should only be used with a large volume spacer - something to do with the size of the particles making it less effective with a small volume spacer. There is a specialist large volume spacer designed to fit Intal (called a Fisonair).

  • Sorry Philomena I meant I read somewhere the inhaler needs cleaning at least twice a week to help stop the build-up of powder, not sure about the spacer with Intal (usually they are once a week) but leaflets here & which is not the same one I remember seeing before?

  • So what am I doing wrong?!!

    Belated thanks for the links TJ!

    Still confused (even after finding Ratty's thread on Intal which would have helped had I searched and read it before). I have obtained a Fisonair spacer - thank you Ratty, Ginny and Sanofi-Aventis - but today I noticed stuff coming out of the top of the inhaler again while using it with a spacer! It's a new inhaler, been using it a couple of days so shouldn't need cleaning yet (though will soon - honestly Intal is messy).

    I have just cleaned the spacer though for the first time, could that be it? I managed to pack the instructions in a box which I have sealed so couldn't remember exactly but I washed it in vaguely warm water, bit of hand soap and left to air dry which seems standard for spacers. Hope I haven't mucked it up as not easy to get another one (especially when I've only just got hold of this one!)

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