Asthma UK community forum

How to remember to use inhalers?

I'm really bad at remembering to use my inhalers, both of them! I forget to use my preventer, despite it being right next to my toothbrush and forget that my reliever exists until I am that desperate that I can't breathe without it! As an example, my preventer should have renewed over a week a go. The counter still says 80 puffs left!

I get up at a different time everyday, so can't set a reminder on my phone and the sticker I put on my bathroom mirror falls off every time I have a shower :P. My bathroom door is covered in anatomy diagrams so I have no space on there.

I know that I suffer for not using it, probably part of the reason I still have this cough after 5 months! I only seem to remember at an awkward time, like halfway through a lecture! I've asked friends to remind me, but they forget too :P

Any suggestions? I'm doing a spirometry lab in a few weeks and have been volunteered to be the 'patient'. The results we get have to analysed and written into a report so I don't want everyone telling me I'm half dead!

9 Replies

I would try putting it somewhere wherd it is really annoyingly in your way so that you have to pick it up anyway. Depending on your routine this couls be on top pf your phone or diary? In front of the door on the floor though this risks you walking on it lol. That might work for the morning. The evening is more difficult. Unless you could wangle having two preventers on the go at once therefore strategically placing different morning and evening ones?

Rose xx


In the past I tried kind of blocking my toothbrush in with my preventer so that I had to pick it up to get to my toothbrush. I picked it up and moved it but didn't use it! That's a good idea though. I might try leaving it on my laptop since I always have to pick that up for lectures. The only issue is that I'd move it and forget to put it back for the evening! I do get two on a prescription (nice student health center understands how poor we all are lol!)so I may have to find somewhere else! If only I could hang on from the ceiling!

Thanks Rose :)

I've never tried doing one before, but my tutor volunteered me to try to get 'some variation in the results' as he put it! No one else in my class is asthmatic. For all he knows I could appear normal anyway :P

I tried to get into the routine of taking them then brushing my teeth, but I still forget! I think I get used to seeing it that I don't notice it anymore, if that makes sense. Haha I like the idea of revising whilst I do it, hadn't thought of that! All that revision time I've wasted... :P

I do actually have 2 (though I should probably get more, they're both being a bit temperamental, was going to get one this week but can't afford it after a flatmate messed with my food so I had to buy more >:( ) I leave one in my room and one in my gym bag usually but still forget they exist! I'm expecting to be moaned at a lot at my next review!

Thanks Philomela :)


hehe sooner you than me for the spiro! If I were the test subject I don't think anyone would learn anything useful as I am mostly rubbish at doing them.

Re the inhalers: though you keep it next to your toothbrush, do you take it at a specific time ie always before brushing? I find a routine is the best way, so I do it round my morning and evening routine eg evening:

-first thing one puff Symbicort

-take out lenses, take montelukast + Vit D, floss

-2nd puff Symbicort

-brush teeth, wash face, remove makeup

-3rd puff Symbicort and rinse mouth

-Atrovent last thing before bed

That way I don't forget and I also don't forget (usually) how many puffs I've had, plus I remember to take the other stuff as well as it's always in the same order. So maybe weaving it into your morning routine and ALWAYS doing eg preventer-rinse mouth-brush teeth-learn one anatomy fact (so you get some revision into your routine and reinforce both?)

Re reliever: can you ask your surgery for 2 at a time? I have one that lives in my handbag and one that lives by my bed (or on my desk) so I don't forget it when I go out and I know where it is when I'm at home. Some people have them all over the house and I could do that but I prefer to have just 2 so I can keep track of roughly how much I've used of each. When one runs out I swap the 'older' one to being the home one and have the new one as my 'out' one so I don't run out when I can't easily get hold of another one.


Well, I figured if you have anatomy diagrams up in the bathroom you may as well use the time ;)

btw if your reliever is being temperamental - try taking the canister out and washing the case - run the tap through it then leave to dry for a bit. Someone on here suggested it and it worked like magic - was all clogged up and worked perfectly so I was able to get a lot more out of it.


I've tried cleaning them both, for one it worked for a few days, for the other nothing happened. I found an old case so I'm using that for now but I don't think it'll last too long. I need to also get in the habit of knowing how much reliever I'm using so I know when to reorder!

I am very good at going back to sleep haha! I'd sleep all day if I could! I might try that tomorrow. Only downside is that I'll have to get out of bed to reach my desk... unless I make some kind of table out of my chair...

Thanks :)


My method only works if yu can wake up and then go back to sleep(i think most students are pretty good at that) I set an alarm at 6am everyday, which is well before i have to be up, and that is when i take all my meds, have a cereal bar, rinse my mouth out then go back to sleep for a few hours! as you are ONLY waking up to do meds you cant forget! and also means when you are on pred its not gonna be too close to the next bedtime (i actually started this system to help with predsomnia!)

if you cant do that then try putting it on your alarm clock and taking them while you are in bed as the first thing you do! i find my brain enjoys the excuse to lie in bed a little bit longer so i do all my morning meds and peakflows while im still all snuggled up!


For me I have set up my asthma symptom diary, to allow me to note how many puffs I've used for both each day.

And then I just do a tally chart, so I know that each mark resembles 1 puff, then when it comes to imputing on the computer, I just add the tallies up

Monday = /// = 3 puffs

3,4,4,5 = 16 puffs = how much I used in a particular inhaler. Then at the top of a new sheet, I have a little box, to add the previous totals of puffs used by an inhaler, so I can roughly guess, if I'm close to needing it replaced.

Inhaler Usage

Ventolin - Current 100


Clenil - Current 20


Hopefully that makes sense.


I was exactly the same for ages but then I started swimming at 6:30 in the morning and I really need to use my Symbicort first or I'm in trouble. Now I absolutely NEVER forget. I know it's a bit drastic but it works!


I left my preventer on my laptop and remember to take it this morning :) Hope I can do the same tonight.

The reliever was a different story though- forgot to take it before going to the gym, then forgot to take it to the gym, then forgot it existed when I got back and sat in my for for 20mins struggling to breathe though it can't have been that bad if I forgot :P)!

Oh well, try again tomorrow :P

Thanks for all the suggestions


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