Inhalers per prescription

I've recently moved and I arranged t see my new GP whn I last needed a supply of new inhalers. I pay or my precriptions and have always had 2 inlaer sper prescriptiun so i get 4 inherlas (2 for regulr daily doage and 2 ventolin) for the cost of 2 prescriptions. At the new surgery I've just been given 1 inhaler per prescription and am being told its because they run their own pharmacy (so presumably want to give the minimum out per prescription).

That's all very well for them but suddenly I'm getting half the inlhaers for the cost of 2 precpritons and don't have spare in tow. I left my ventolin at work on Friday and haven't got a spare one at home.

Apart from immediately putting in for another one when I pick up my next inhlaer, anyine got arguments that they think might sway the Docotr to give me my 2 inhaler per prescription?

23 Replies

  • Hi Bradboy,

    In terms of having a couple of spares at home, your GP should always be willing to do you a one-off script for one or two more inhalers. I always seem to have about six hanging around, in various places! A call to your GP or practice nurse may sort it out, otherwise you may have to make an appointment to discuss it.

    In terms of the more long-term problem of only being given one at once, and the increased cost of this - I'm not really sure what most GPs do. Mine certainly usually issues me with at least two months worth of each medication per script.

    It's worth looking at leaflet HC11 (from your pharmacist or here: to see if you are entitled to free prescriptions - people who are on a low income or certain benefits may be. If you're not, and you need more than three items per 3 months or more than 14 items per year, you will save money by buying a prescription prepayment certificate. A one-off payment of £26.85 for a 3-month PPC or £98.70 for a 12-month PPC will cover you for all prescriptions. You can find out more information and download the form at

    Hope this helps

    Em H

  • Thans for teh reply.

    Unfortunatleuy, new GP hasn't been too hepful yet. He couldn't (apparently0 fin what my preveneter doasge was from my notes so i had to drop a note in of what it was for him to then write the prescription!!

    I've moved from a surgery with a pro-active asthma nurse to zilch!!

  • Hi Bradboy,

    may not be the new GPs fault - notes take ages to arrive from the old practice sometimes because they go via the health board (or whatever they are called at the moment).

    Would suggest going to talk to GP about number of inhalers per script - they may be more helpful than you think.

  • I don't know if I am lucky at having a GP that is very conscious of the costs or if it is just that I am a new boy to this game, but my GP happily put 4 of each on my last scrip (and asked if I wanted more). That's loads cheaper even than a yearly season ticket.

  • Never had any problem getting as many inhalers as son needs. He generally has three per mth which means we have spares in both cars, at school, in my handbag, sports bag, school bag and one or two in sons bag/pocket. I guess we are very fortunate to have a generous gp!

  • Thanks fro the replies/comments folks. I put a note ion my repeat request asking fro 2 as i would like the security of a spare. Went to pick up -- request totally ignored - ""We CAN'T do that""!

    I shall be seeing GP next time I need inhalers!!

  • Ugghhhhh. Don't EVEN get me started!

  • Find out what your local PCTs policy is and tell your doc. What's happened here should be enough to change things.

  • I don't have any problems getting two inhalers at a time and I too have them spread about - handbag, car, work, downstairs, upstairs. My problem is that I probably have too many because I found that one had passed the expiry date. Is the expiry date that important? What happens if you do let them expire and then use them? Do they just become less effective or what? Would love to know

  • (sorry to drag up an old post!)

    My new surgery is quite happy to prescribe 2x1 inhaler of the Airomir and Qvar, but for the much more expensive Serevent Accuhaler they'll only give me 1... and that's the one that only lasts 30 days!

    Not only is it a nuisance but it gets needlessly expensive when you have to pay for prescriptions...

    Wouldn't it be better value for the NHS to give Seretide (steroid and long-acting reliever combined) than the separate inhalers??

  • Welcome Munkie to auk!

    I can see your point with regards to the Seretide inhalers but many asthmatics need to increase their dose of inhaled steroid to see them through exacerbations, particularly in the winter months. Being on separate inhalers allows you to increase your steroid dose without increasing the long-acting beta 2 agonist (serevent) which is one of the components in Seretide.

    I used to be on 3 puffs bd of Seretide 250 but as my symptoms worsened I was switched on separate flixotide and serevent inhalers to give me better control.

    Also some asthmatics find flixotide or serevent to be less effective for their asthma treatment and benefit from other inhaled steroids such as buedesonide or becolmetasone, or the alternative long-acting beta 2 agonist Oxis.

    Every asthmatic is different and sometimes it is a case of trial and error to find the best combination of meds for each person.

    With the regards to your prescription, has your GP said that it is due to the expense of the inhaler that they will only prescribe one every 30 days? Surely it would make no difference cost wise if they prescribed two every 60 days as opposed to one every 30 days?

    Best wishes

    Sparkly Fairy

  • I am on seretide 250 4 puffs bd and therfore go thru a seretide inhaler every 15 days so constantly backwards and forwards to docs fo repeats also usually means when i ill i got nothing i can increase and usually means a course of pred. Everytime we try to reduce the seretide i just go splat!!!

  • heidiho you should be able to ask your GP for two inhalers so you have a months supply each time and explain that it will save you having to collect them every two weeks.

    Have you discussed an action plan with your GP or asthma nurse? They can advise what to do when you are suffering an exacerbation and possibly prescribe a flixotide inhaler depending on your current dosage so you can increase your inhaled steroids if need be. This would need to be discussed with your GP though.

    It's worth a try!

  • i am currently on 8 puffs of symbicort a day, so that lasts me 15 days as well. If i ask, i get two inhalers at a time. Sometimes even more (if im travelling).

  • sparlky fairy, I did tell gp on fri i was going thru them every 15days but he just prescribed one will go to ashtma nurse at gp and she what she way! also got cons app in dec so maybe they can review the situation!!

  • I only get one inhaler per prescription which I thought was the norm and would consider that if you have anymore than one per prescription, you're onto a good thing.

    But I do have a pre-payment prescription card which has saved me a fortune, especially when I had my accident, needed 6 prescriptions.

  • I get as many inhalers as I want on My prescription. He normally gives Me 2 ventolins,2 atrovents and 2 seretides and If I ask For more He gives Them. I am still on the NHS though so I don't have to pay thank god.

  • On my current repeat prescription I get 2 Ventolin, 2 Atrovent, 2 Serevent and 2 Flixotide as well as a months supply of all my other meds. I used to think it was standard to be given a months supply but I guess that isn't the case judging by this thread! Luckily I am eligible for free prescriptions when at uni, but over the summer I applied for a HC2 and as I was living at home with my parents at the time I was seen as able to pay for my scripts. Hmmm 13 items per month without extra pred and anti-bs when needed... yeah... thank goodness for pre-pay cards!

  • luckily my gps are generous with their prescribing of inhalers too. I used to have a prepayment card, then got diagnosed with low thyroid - which made scripts free. Crazy when that is one tablet (well two actually) once a day as compared with all the inhalers, nasal sprays, antihistamines and eczema creams needed as an atopic asthmatic. Anyhow after many letters to MPs prescriptions are now free in Wales! You will all have to move over the border. Free for all may be a bit extreme but I certainly think that anyone with a chronic condition should get free medication.

  • From a cost perspective it doesn't matter how many are on a prescription since the charge is per item, at least that's how I get charged.

  • pharmacy/GPs does it differently. The charge is still per item but this means that its per each different I can have 3 ventolin, 2 steroid inhalers and 1 box of tablets on a prescription and I only pay for 3 items. Maybe this is just because I get all my stuff through my GP and the pharmacy delivers it back there.


  • This site:-

    Seems to agree with you, but there's nothing definitive that I can wave at the chemist...

  • it must depend on your GP as I get 2 flixotide inhalers prescribed to last me a month, and i get 2 months supply of desloratadine and uniphyllin each time on my script - without me asking, and 2 ventolin as wel, again a months supply normally.

    I have pre-payment cert (worked out it makes each item between 50 - 80p - not bad value!!) so i pay no attention to how many items on my script, but I thought that you were charged per drug - i.e. if i got 2 ventolin inhalers I would be charged once as it would listed as 2x1 inhaler

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