Counters for Inhalers

My best peak flow is 450 max, today it's hovering around 200 - 250 and I'm exhausted & extremely breathless, I rarely wheez, cough though when it's aggravated, didn't realise my inhaler ran out, got to pick up my repeat prescription this distressed as to why ALL inhalers do not have counters on them so we KNOW when they're about to run out....absolutely ludicrous....

Am I the only one that thinks this, or does anyone else have the same problem?

......trying to hold off on a visit to A&E, that's one place I don't want to have to go, this hot & muggy weather isn't helping & I'm trying to do very little so my peak flow doesn't drop anymore...

15 Replies

  • Sorry this posted twice, don't know why.....

  • Sorry you are feeling so bad. I don't really know about all the different types of inhalers but I regularly check my blue and brown ones by taking out the canister and shaking it, I can usually feel if there's any in it, and when getting low change it as the blast isn't as strong when its less than about a third full. Do you have a different type? I guess they would be very much more expensive with devices to alert to them getting low and prescriptions would have to go up even more for those who have to pay. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Hi. Hope you are ok. Know what you mean. I'd a bad time this weekend as all my salbutamol inhalers seemed to be almost empty. I'd built up a fair collection as every time I saw doctor or asthma nurse, I got another one. Over time, thinking that'll be one for the car, one for my jacket etc.

    Course this way you don't think of them needing replaced at some time. In my case, all chose to run out this weekend. Would I have been better with counters on them rather than my pencilled on date of issue? Undoubtedly. Some of the older canisters actually had more in them than the later ones. D'oh.

    I'm lucky to live in Scotland and not pay for my prescriptions but if there was a countered salbutamol on the market, I'd be first in the queue. Credit card in hand.

    Ooh this has turned into a wee bit of a rant. I'll slope off now and count to ten.

    Best wishes you give A&E a miss,

    Moira xxx

  • Hi jaffacake,

    There was another thread on here recently about weighing the canister, i shall bump it up. I have just started following the instructions on there for my Allen and Hanbury ventolin evohaler and am finding it really useful. It is such a pain when it is because your inhaler is running out that you have had a bad day! I ALWAYS have at least one spare at home and in my work bag of ventolin because it is so difficult to tell when you are getting low.

    Jac xx

  • I had a similar problem at the end of last year. The asthma nurse gave me a ventolin accuhaler which has a counter. It might be worth asking to see one?

  • Know what you mean. Have bumped 'A Dummies Guide To Asthma' which includes it too. The accuhaler costs a bit more but not a huge amount (£1.50 vs £4.92) so don't let someone say no to you on that count but it does contain 60 rather 120 doses & they are bigger.

    GrannyMo had the same recently, think telling the doc I hadn't seen before I used a couple in a month prompted him to think better look at doing something rather than just waiting for hosp. appt.

    I try to keep one attached to spacer and just use that where poss. with date on it when started. I keep track on a asthma logbook on my mac but you could use the asthma UK diary if you don't fill it up too quickly like me.

  • I'm not sure what all the other inhalers deliver. The acuhaler I use gives 200 micrograms of salbutamol with each dose. I think this is double that given by a standard inhaler? If I'm right, it gives the equivalent of 120 doses.

  • Thank You

    Thank you so much for your replies

    I was prescribed 2 lots of relief inhalers on my last prescription, I didn't think of shakin the canister to see how full it was (or empty!).....duh! so newish to it all (excuse)..

    My gp said he thinks the canister puffer used with the aerochamber is better for the dose to get into the lungs quicker and easier....the hospital nurse told me I was to old to be using the aerochamber...can't win!! So who's right - who's wrong, I do what gives me the BEST relief. I tried the acuhaler when I was first diagnosed but it didn't work to well for me.

    Thank you for suggesting a diary, I don't currently keep one, & it's also a must to keep track of how often I'm using my inhaler - can do that whilst counting what I'm using.


  • That seems such a ridiculous thing to say about the aerochamber! I'm sure many people on here use it and it is proven to get more of the dose direct to your lungs. I carry mine with me all of the time and if 4 - 5 puffs of ventolin are not working for me i start using it right away. Also. it is recommended to replace it every 6 months.

    Another thing i am going to do when i start my next new ventolin is record how many puffs i take so i know when i have used the 200 puffs. I record my number of doses everyday so i just need to make a note of when it is a new one.

    Jac x

  • I thought a spacer i.e. Aerochamber in this case should be used with an inhaler, considered good practice these days?! There is some debate about which i.e. inhaler + spacer or accuhaler is more effective for dose into lungs.

    Jaffacake, I find it tricky to know for certain by shaking so hence the logbook (amongst keeping record of all medication, peakflow, symptoms..), also found in the post I bumped good digital kitchen scales are a useful double check. .

    TS, sorry you're correct, the accuhaler is 200mcg rather than 100 in the standard inhaler.

    Edit, sorry this has got a bit stuck on the dose counter issue. Jaffacake, how're you doing tonight?

  • I totally agree - it hasn't put me off using it because I know how well it works for me, as for others aswell no doubt..

    My peak flow is now 350 - 400 much, much better..the air is cooler this evening after the thunder storms & rain earlier.

    I have epilepsy & keep a record of my seizures in a small notebook, I can use the back to record my doses used on the inhaler, being as I have just started a new one....& see how often I have to use it!

    Ohhhhhh happy days....


  • TJ, thank you, am feeling so much better, I was looking & feeling very 'grey' earlier today, but have got a bit more colour in my cheeks now - breathing better!

    Must make sure I record my peak flow properly aswell!

    I feel a bit selfish on this I do hope everyone else is coping okay this evening.


  • Sadly, I keep count of how many times I use my inhaler - luckily at the moment I'm not having any problems so it's only a couple of puffs daily which I can record when i do my PF. I'm not sure if I could find the energy to do it when I'm having difficulty breathing, though. Even more sadly, I can remember how many puffs I've had and how many I have left (24 used and 96 to go). I've really got to get a life ....

  • Annista, nooooo don't say that about yourself, you are very wise. If I had kept a record, like you, I wouldn't have been in the desperate state I was in yesterday, as I would have got my replacement inhalers in enough time..

    A&E aren't very kind where I live, the nurses are damn right horrid, don't know how they're allowed to do that I try to avoid it at all costs.,


  • Jaffacake, I always used to find it a real annoyance doing my peak flow and recording how many times I'd used my inhaler until I took my 3 year old granddaughter on holiday. She was so taken with the peak flow meter that she made one of her own out of a ruler and a small plastic disc. Every time I did my PF she put the disc on the ruler and solemnly blew from one end until she managed to move the disc enough to get a 'reading'. Now every time I do my FP I remember that and it makes me happy instead of irritated.

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