Asthma UK community forum

ventolin inhaler

Sorry but this maybe a stupid question and may be in the wrong area of the forum.

We have 3 asthmatic children, 1 severe (who is really stressing us at the moment but that's another story) and obviously have a ventolin inhaler for each one. My question is, how do I know when they are empty and need replacing? The seretide inhaler we use for one of the boys is great it has a counter on it so I can always tell, but the ventolin doesn't so I'm never really sure when to replace them.

4 Replies

i know the counters are so useful!! i shakes the canaster and you can hear when it is empty.. or emptying as there is more moving inside ... i am not sure of any other way this is the only way unless you record the number of time your child uses it as there are a certain umber of doses in the inhaler .. but i dont thin think this is very reliable and time consuming.

Just make sure you have another 'spare' inhaler incase!!

hope this is a little helpful!!



I don't know how old your children are, but - along with Katharine's excellent advice - the easiest way to know when they need replacing is when nothing comes out of them any more! Sorry if this seems like a silly thing to say; that's why I ask how old your children are. If they are old enough, they should be able to recognise when the inhaler is no longer working. If in doubt, spray it once into the air so that you can check visually.

Oh, and always carry a spare ;)


Thanks for the replies. The boys are 8, and not very good at recognising their symptoms! :(

I know it seems a stupid question, but we were told that the active ingredient in the inhaler runs out before the spray. Therefore you can be in the position that the inhaler works, but there is no benefit. As we have been told to give up to 10 puffs the last thing we need is to be with an inhaler that doesn't deliver.

We always have at least one spare kept at home, and we also make sure that we have at least one when we are out and about. (Just in case. :)



do the Glass test,

have a bowl of water and take the cannester out of holder, put it in water, if full it will sink, if half full will bob about. if empty will float on top,

hope that helps, george xx


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