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Salbutamol/ventolin asthma

LDloveslattecoffe profile image

I think doses/puffs can be confusing as it depends on what strength we are discussing Ventolin /Salbutamol (blue inhaler).

I take a 200 microgram Salbutamol turbohaler.

Even having asthma in the family it took me 4 years from my first asthma attack at 15 until I was finally diagnosed at 19.

I have been lucky and never hospitalised when having an attack. I find staying calm and increasing my blue inhaler a life life.

Thankfully I haven't had many attacks when my health is ok but the scariest attacks happen when I have infections. I take serevent or seretide (fluticasone with Salmeterol - purple inhaler) my preventer twice a day. I ensure take blue inhaler 4 times a day more if needed. Paracetamol for pain from coughing and I have on repeat prescription rescue steroid tablets prednisolone (8 x 5mg tablets a day for 5 days).

It's scary when I have an infection as I live alone. In UK we have 111 service who can give out of hours advice and send a GP to your home if you are not well enough to drive go out. I rather call them than use the emergency services. I was ill with chest and sinus infection from 27/12/17 to 26/1/18 despite 12 days on steroid tablets and that's when put on my repeat I can take 5days before see Dr.

Had 3 sinus and ear infections this year and a respiratory staph aureus infection.

Been bringing up more phlegm for a few weeks now so increased reliever use. Then wed last week sore throat, Thurs started coughing blood in phlegm, Friday tickly cough, Saturday very wet phlegm cough, Sunday blocked nose and sneezing. Knew was seeing GP Monday night so when had bloods done Thurs asked nurse for test pot for phlegm because was bringing blood up. By Monday pot was full Dr gave me prednisolone and sent sputum sample of so if it comes back bacterial will end up getting antibiotics if viral will just have to put up with it and see how prednisolone goes.

Today was OK while sitting thi K tired of coughing when move talk I wheeze bad and struggle. My voice has been bad since Friday.

Even GP not given me definitive how much blue inhaler.

So I go by the attack 10 puffs wait 15mins take 10more puffs.

Rest of time probably don't use blue inhaler properly. I don't always notice I need it friends tell me so as I also have sleep apnoea as a precaution I take blue going to bed and getting up with my preventer inhaler and monteleukast.

I think having had asthma for 32 years and diagnosed properly for 28 years I have gotten used to it.

19 Replies

Hi - and welcome to the site. I, too, use ventolin when needed. About ten years ago I quickly succumed to a viral infection and woke up in the middle of the night unable to breathe. The first puff only got in a minute amount but each puff opened more and more of my airways (I was also constantly coughing to try and get more phlegm/mucous up to open the airways) Eventually, after an hour of the medihaler and also the nebuliser, I finally felt like I wasn't going to die. I decided to ring the ambulance at that stage. (I was alone and too busy trying to breathe to ring earlier.) I got a fright when I rang the ambulance as I thought I was okay but could only speak one word at a time. However by the time the ambulance came I was speaking in sentences and although I still had the flu was feeling much better - probably on a high with the ventolin running through my system. I wasn't hospitalised but the next few weeks were very difficult trying to fight the flu and the asthma which was worse than it had ever been. I found some relief with intravenous Vitamin C. I can't say it cured anything but after I had it I could breathe easier for a day or two. I eventually got over it but it took months before my lungs got back to normal. Swine flu was going around at the time but I never discovered if that was what I had.

I tell you this because I felt that each puff opened a little bit more of my lungs and released a little bit more of the phlegm which was constricting them at the time. I also had been on ventolin for over 30 years at the time so maybe my body was more used to it as, even though my heart was going a little faster, I didn't really have too many side effects of taking so much - or maybe most of it didn't get into the lungs initially.

You seem to be coping quite well with the asthma so I just wish you all the best. I was looking up the medical/ pharmaceutical history of asthma and they seem to be trying new things. I'd love a cure!

Thanks Tugun, it's pretty scary so I know what you mean. I agree a cure would be great!

You use Serevent or Seretide? How do you have both? I used to have Serevent (green) and was really well when I had it, but it was taken away a few years ago, maybe 2 years ago, and since then I've gone through a whole range of inhalers. Now I have 3, one of which is Seretide (purple). But, it doesn't work too well for me. As far as I know it's a GSK branded inhaler and not a generic version of Serevent. I've asked a few times if I can get back to Serevent but I get a different answer each time (it's not available anymore, it's too expensive, it's got problems...) Take care of yourself 👍

When I first got my purple inhaler I called it serevent but thought it changed its name to seretide

Mine is turbohaler 50/500 seretide (salmeterol/fluticasone mix).

I said serevent/seretide as thought same and some people like me would understand it to be purple inhaler.

I did have a green inhaler years ago so maybe that was serevent they changed me to seretide and I could have been using the term interchangeably ever since to mean the purple one.

Names similar, my bad if serevent is different one must have been one used to be on but names both start sere and got mixed up.

As far as I know Serevent and Seretide are different, though possibly have an ingredient in common because of their similar names. Serevent worked well for me and didn’t have any side effects that I was aware of. I have the Seretide evohaler. (And Spiriva Respimat and Ventolin)

Still waiting for prednisolone to kick in, still bringing phlegm up but it's getting harder to bring up and am constantly feeling roof of mouth. Really wheezy when I move, but sitting it's like a rasp noise I can hear. Blood coming up in phlegm and voise very bad still. Feels getting worse to me but friend been popping in every night and says sounds same.

Still awaiting sputum results gave in on Monday night

I’m really sorry to know things don’t seem any better with you yet. I usually put off seeking medical advice until the last possible moment so it’s a bit hypocritical of me to suggest but, maybe you should see your doctor if things don’t improve soon. Do you use a spacer with your inhalers? It helps get more of the medications into your lungs, as well as reducing some of the side effects. Is the blood bright red in your sputum? Apparently that’s ‘good’ blood. It’s from a blood vessel that’s burst in your throat as a result of all the coughing and throat clearing. It happened to me just recently and was scary but I sought advice on a forum here which reassured me. Do you know when you’ll get the results back from your sputum tests? Hopefully that will reveal more. Take care of yourself in the meantime.

Can't use spacer with Turbohaler you twist, push the side down put to lips and breathe in you can't attach a spacer to them. Used spacer with the old regular inhaler style.

Sputum tests usually 4-5 days so should be back today or tomorrow hopefully.

It's just scary at night on own still bringing phlegm up. Sick of coughing. Wheezy/noisy breathing with whistles and crackles. I was sitting watching TV last night and thought heard cat crying outside turned TV down and realised noise coming from me.

Goes from fresh blood to what could be phlegm covered in dark red blood (bergundy colour) and last night was a reddish bright orange gel.

Getting up soon will take day 3 prednisolone tablets when I go get my cuppa (8 x 5mg).

Doh, no of course you can’t use a spacer with a turbohaler. Sorry, my brain could not have been functioning well! Any news about your sputum results yet?

Sputum results not back yet, hopefully tomorrow. Tried to get an appointment today at Dr's but none available till tomorrow so 10:55am tomorrow Dr's.

Felt was getting worse, the person I am a carer (don't live with them) for rang ambulance and they came out and gave me nebuliser 5mg salbutamol /500mcg Ipatropium.

I hope the nebs helped a bit? I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you tomorrow 🤞

A little got through day was told if get any worse call 999 or get up to hospital

I hope it won’t get that bad. Everything always seems so much worse at night too. I don’t know if it actually is worse or just feels worse. Hopefully tomorrow will bring you some improvement.


Saw GP this morning, sputum came back as Moraxella catarrhalis bacterial infection. GP did letter and sent me to A&E said they would determine antibiotics and could give nebuliser.

Was there from noon and got home about 5pm.

Chest X-ray, bloods and given nebuliser.

Given antibiotics, a further course of prednisolone and an appointment on Monday on a ward to see Respiratory nurse.

Update - saw Respiratory Nurse at the hospital on Monday. Changed my seretide purple inhaler (been on at least 10 years now) to Duoresp Spiramax (new modern combined reliever/preventer) started it a couple of days ago and they are booking me an appointment to go back in 3 months.

Too early to tell as although breathing better still feeling crap. Ok if stay home and don't move about too much but if I have to go out my chest and back hurts, coughing starts up and my voice is still crap.

So I'm on day day 18 since started illness so hoping will feel a lot better by Xmas. Finished antibiotics yesterday and prednisolone this morning so let's see xx

Thanks for the update. I hope your new inhaler proves to be helpful. Hopefully things will start to improve now that you’ve finished the dreaded Pred. I hope you’ll feel a whole lot better for Christmas 👍

Thanks, I hope so too. Have a good Christmas

So update Day 32 since infection started.

25 days used 2 x 60 puff inhalers and 12 puffs from another inhaler. Use of Ventolin decreasing chest clear but still feel crap - cough, bringing fresh blood up in phlegm or saliva every day still, voice still hoarse/croaky and pain chest/ back. Oh and joy of joys exacerbated my fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis!!!

One of GP reaction on 2/1/19 was your "run down" but if no better in 2weeks come back so I'd been ill 4 weeks already and GP reckons can be another 2 weeks. All I can say is sick of feeling like this, glad can breathe though and hurry up 2 weeks because 6 weeks like this is crap!

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