Log in
Asthma UK community forum
11,326 members17,594 posts

How do I know when I 'need' to use Blue inhaler?

Ok I know this must sound like a really daft question but how do I know when I need to use the Blue inhaler?

I was diagnosed with Asthma exactly one week ago and was given a Brown inhaler and spacer device to use morning & night and advised to use a blue one when I 'need' it.

I have a history of coughs, chest infections and tightness in the chest and I am still coughing and have a tight chest but as this has been pretty much a way of life do I take the blue one through out the day to see if it lessens or just when I cough or do I need to wait a few weeks till the brown one kicks in.

I'm confused...

Any advice would be most welcome.


9 Replies

If it's a daft question then I am daft too - I'm in just the same position and very much look forward to seeing what advice you get.

All the best from another confused newbie!!



I am less new to it than you (diagnosed in May) but it's taken me till now to really begin to understand and manage my symptoms. It's a big case of trial and error that is unique to the individual, as far as I have found.

The blue inhaler, should ease up any asthma symptoms with a couple of puffs - wheeze, chest tightness, shortness of breath or cough, etc. When you decide you need to take it is up to you - it's about whether you think the symptom will go away quickly of its own accord or if it needs a bit of help from the drug to stop it from getting worse.




hi, you prob know that the brown inhaler is a preventer and the blue is a reliever. i take the brown one to help keep me steady so that i hopefully do not get any symptoms and the blue one during the day or night if i feel that im getting any symptoms that are causing concern such as wheezing, coughing, phelmy etc. your gp should be able to help by asking you to see the asthma nurse who will then talk you through any questions. if you dont get full relief from the inhaler after the appropriate amount of doses then you should head to a + e. does this help?


also if you check out the info on this site it will tell you exactly how to use the inhaler to make sure that you use it correctly x



When I was first diagnosed I coughed a lot of the time, and in retrospect probably could have taken my reliever more often. What I would do is take it if you're thinking about it and see if it helps. Then if it does, you'll get a better sense of how often to take it.



as ive found out lately , taking my bluey ""ventolin"" inhaler is becoming a rather head scratching time, ive had to take it in 5min intervals to help my breathing when its been very bad, but like you peoples i wasnt sure as to how many times and how much i could take? so having nosed around the site i found a piece about taking the inhaler in an emergency, it did state every 5mins , till u get relief, but that aint to exact, so i go until i ge to a point where i can cope with my breathing rather than really better, just to be on the safe side, as for the preventer ""purple or seretide in my case""that must be taken as directed and is set in concrete, unless you doc/nurse says otherwise.But if you not sure as to how many puffs you can take , ask yer doc or nurse...Gaz


The problem here is info , and what is correct info, as said a couple of puffs of the blue one should be surfice, BUT what happens when it isnt???? do you just say bugger it and die, coarse not, more guidelines should be given by docs and nurses about this, not everyone is going to call 999, me for one its not likely to happan as im alergic to doctors :-0 so i need to treat myself with the knowledge that im going to be ok. gaz


Use your blue inhaler when you realise your breathings not right,

how much depends on how you feel.

take 2 puffs and wait a few mins if not better carry on and get help if need a ambo 999 ,



You may also like...