Log in
Asthma UK community forum
12,837 members18,460 posts


Hi all,

I really think that getting a spacer would be really beneficial for controlling my asthma (I am not really a great fan of the MDI) and I think it would help me use my inhalers. My own gp is not really one for listening to requests like this (I have tried). Do you think that it would be possible to go to a place like Boots Pharmacy or somewhere and ask if I could buy one?

Bobby x

10 Replies

You can buy them from most pharmacies and they're not that expensive. I've got both the volumatic and the aerochamber coz I get problems with my throat if I don't take my inhalers through one. The aero chamber is good coz its loads smaller but if you are having an attack then the volumatic is far better.

Hope that helps

Smithy x


I used for for a while and found less of the inhaled medication ended up at the back of my throat, so I reduced my dosages a little as a result. I'm sure they were not on prescription at the time, or my doctor or chemist refused to supply one on prescription for some reason that I can't recall right now, so I just bought one over the counter. But I think the cost was about the same price as a prescription, though this is going back a few years.


Indeed - on Kick Asthma Holidays we always recommend using a spacer. I believe that the taste of Clenil is so bad that trying to take it without a spacer is akin to sucking on a sweaty sock...

If you choose to buy one, the good thing is that - if you clean it regularly - it'll last for a fair old time, and thus not getting one on prescription shouldn't be a problem.


medcine always gets stick in mine and it is really hard to get out, does anyone else have this problem? I ordered mine from respironcs and they give 5 pounds to asthma uk for every order you make.


Hi Bobby

ALthough the GP is reluctant to prescribe - could you try your asthma nurse at the practice (I assume you do have one).... They might persuade the GP that it would make meds more effective etc?

The nurses at my practice are staunch supporters - they say if they could they would insist all patients have and use them for MDIs.

I have dry powder inhalers but my daughter has seretide MDI / ventolin through hers and has a spacer for home and one for school, both provided on prescription.



lol Steve I had to reply, flixotide isn't that far from tasting like sweaty socks either!


My friend liken flixotide to tasting BO, which I suppose isn't dissimilar to sweaty socks... I find it impossible to take clenil without a large-volume spacer, even an aerochamber is too small to stop it hitting the back of your throat and making you choke.

Medication shouldn't significantly build up in your spacer - wash it once a month, in soapy water, **don't rinse it** and **let it air dry** - if you rinse it sparkly clean and then give it a good rub with a towel, it'll become charged with static and attract medication particles to it.

The problem that *does* occur with volumatics is that the valve becomes calcified with exhaled moisture, medication particles, etc...once it gets to this stage it needs replacing, I'm afraid. I think A&H's recommendations are to replace them at least once a year.


I thought that spacers were strongly recomended for MDI Steroid inhalers anyway! I have a little able spacer which I get on fine with. They are good for traveling with too as you can pop the inhaler inside.

Not noticed the taste of Flixotide!

Anyway, a little tip for volumatic users - once they are gunked up and unusuable they make very good cloches ( mini green houses) for tender garden plants to keep off the sluggies! ( Yes I have volumatics growing in my garden!LOL)


I use an aerochamber with all my inhalers, I have two one for home and one for out and about. I only ever use my flixotide with the aerochamber I keep at home but I find it only takes about a week to become coated with white powder inside. Does anyone else have this problem or is it just because of my dosage 4 puffs of flixotide, 3 puffs of serevent and 2 puffs of atrovent morning and night? I wash them regularly but it never lasts very long and I usually end up having a new one quite regularly.

On the subject of inhaler taste... atrovent reminds me of neat vodka... or maybe thats just the student in me! Luckily it doesn't taste of anything if I take it with a spacer.


Hi sparkly fairy

medicine always gets stuck in my spacer and it is really hard to wash out, mine is an optichamber it is quite a wierd design and one end is really hard to clean, but I find using a small toothbrush quite helpful!

I also take atrovent and it does have quite an unusual taste! not nice first thing in the morning or with a hangover, lol!


You may also like...