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Inhalers without counters??๐Ÿ˜’

Soniabrown
Soniabrown
โ€ข67 Replies

Hi everyone......

This conundrum is making me batty.....does anyone have a reliable way of knowing when the bloomin inhaler is nearly empty?......without tallying every time you use it??

And why, does anyone know, does clenil sometimes come with a counter and sometimes not......and ventolin never does?????๐Ÿ˜ฉ

At the moment, I'm stuck with a clenil with no counter๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ so I've had to work it out and put the date in my calendar when I should start a new one.....and I'm physically writing a tally on the ventolin box......because I suspect, when I was feeling really rough a few days ago, it was because the blessed thing was empty......and being the fluffle headed dunce that I was....it took me three days to work it out!๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ.........I've decided having asthma is far too time consuming, I'd like a restart please!๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

67 Replies
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Hahahaha yes I'd like a restart too! Actually, can I give it back?!

I have a similar issue with my turbohalers. Symbicort has a counter, Pulmicort and Bricanyl don't. They do, at least, have a red zone of 20 doses left - but no way would I just wait til then to order in case it took longer.

I guess regular ones are easier as it's a set amount of time for it so your calendar marking sounds good. Noting somewhere ventolin doses is probably the only way but maybe someone does have a magical solution!

I'm glad I'm not the only one.....

๐Ÿ˜Š

I tried logging my usage... ended up with several bits of paper with little gates all around the house, which then turned into little gates with dates. The next problem arises when you accidentally bring in the spare Ventolin inhaler you keep in the car.

Vlb1
Vlb1
in reply to twinkly29

I have found that once I see the red line Symbicort does not work nearly as well.

Hi Sonia. I find it annoying that the rescue inhalers donโ€™t have counters on them in this country. I have had occasions where I have thought it wasnโ€™t working only to find it was running out. Apparently the last few doses are propellant.

I bought a knitting counter thing- ma-jig. You press the button and it keeps a tally. It has a band around it, so I could attach it to my inhaler.

It would have worked fine if I had remembered to press it each time I took a dose.

Soniabrown
Soniabrown
in reply to Troilus

Genius idea though!!๐Ÿ˜…

If you're taking inhalers as a daily dose it's easy to make a note on your smart phone as to when you can order a new one and when it will run out. As for reliever inhalers that are taken ad hoc, if they are wet inhalers the weight decreases and when shaken sound less full as they empty. If you can, order two at a time and reorder as the first becomes empty.

It's ages since I had wet inhalers and always feared running out and not have access to my reliever. Now I'm on dry powder and they all have counters on them.

From memory, no aerosol canister inhaler has a counter due to their design.

Been there too. The asthma nurse even asked me once how much I had left and I blurted out how the hell should I know? Haha. It's time they thought up a better design, and the wastage is appalling. Why not just supply the tank instead of the plastic mouthpiece everytime?

Best thing to do is always have a spare, and compare the spray when one gets low.

Gilly100
Gilly100
in reply to pffft2017

Bet you were popular!

pffft2017
pffft2017
in reply to Gilly100

Haha I think they call me Victor Meldrew behind my back, or worse!

Well....good! Someone needs to say it! Hahaha

Yes, I agree, they probably haven't thought about the design in quite a while.....I do have dates in the house, it's just I don't like throwing them away until they're definitely empty!๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ

Yes we're supposed to be cutting down on plastic products, it's unnecessary to replace the mouthpiece everytime.

I know what you mean, I turn my Gaviscon bottles upside down to get the last drops out to save the NHS some money, but it's not worth risking an asthma attack Sonia.

Gilly100
Gilly100
in reply to pffft2017

Can't get gaviscon or generic form on NHS where I live, not complaining!

pffft2017
pffft2017
in reply to Gilly100

The postcode lottery eh? It may be that I have Barrett's or that I'm a prolific complainer haha. I reckon the reflux caused the asthma in the first place, try that argument with your Trust.

Could this be a thing? Reflux causing asthma? I can't get any sense out of my GP........

Gilly100
Gilly100
in reply to Soniabrown

I have gastric reflux also. Loads of info in internet.

Acid Reflux Can Affect Asthma | Find Out More At Asthma UKโ€Ž

Adยท

asthma.org.uk/

โ€Ž

Your asthma symptoms may get worse due to stomach acid irritating your airways. People with asthma have a higher risk of developing other health conditions too. Indigestion. Gastro-oesophageal reflux. Heartburn. GERD. Types: Heartburn, Acid Reflux.

pffft2017
pffft2017
in reply to Gilly100

Yes definitely a link. I didn't develop asthma until 2010 after years of waking up coughing the acid out of my airways. Still get the cough sometimes now if I've eaten too late at night.

While on a First Aid Course I was told by the teacher that if you put your inhaler in a bowl of water if it floats it empty, sinks itโ€™s full basically.

Brilliant idea. Very useful tip thanks.

Like eggs.....if they're stale they float....๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ chuck em out.....๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

I was told this too though I still was never sure so asked to get changed to a measured and countered inhaler now life is less stressful. x Anita

This is what my sons asthma nurse advises us to do with his ventolin, Iโ€™d put into water vertically however much sinks below the water is how much is left.

Not very precise though

You can tell when you shake ventolin inhaler roughly how much is left but as it gets very low it is difficult as some of it is the propellant. I therefore stop using mine when it feels not much left in just to be on safe sjde. Luckily my other inhalers spiriva and seretide have counters.

I just make notes on my peakflow record. I keep it & a pen by my inhaler so it's easy enough.

Pretty much the same as a tally chart๐Ÿ˜Š

Hi I've never had a counter but one shake them next to your ear the longer it takes to hit the other side the less there is in the inhaler, two the weight as it gets emptied it gets lighter and 3 but this can also happen with a blocked mouthpiece so clean your mouthpiece and dry it to make sure it's not blocking the spray as the force of the spray when you press it is another sign the less there is the weaker the spray comes out. I normally make sure I have back ups and spears as I always run out at night and weekends but always at night I don't need to order every month so I order for a few months until I get a few spear's then I don't order until I have just one spear left. When I have seen the asthma nurse thay ask me and show me during my last visit I asked her what to do if cleaning the mouthpiece didn't work and the inhaler was about half full but not spraying like its empty she checked the above 2 steps and said if it's not empty and not blocked take it to the chemist you got it from as it's faulty and thay should give you a new one.

Hope this helps you

We can't order spears on NHS Scotland... (sorry, I couldn't resist)

Is there a month you don't need to order your inhaler? Order then that's how you get around that issue lol

Oh, it's easy enough to get a spare. I generally manage to lose an inhaler several times a year... but spears are a totally different proposition (that's what the lame joke was about... naughty corked can be a nuisance).

We all have to do things that we say " don't tell the Drs" lol but we all take care of eachother in this health situation

Needed a laugh Jimmy!

Cheers.

For a daily inhaler with no counter like clenil or serevent I used to write the date started on a small piece of paper and sellotape it onto the plastic casing of the inhaler. They invariably last for one month , so easy to check. I am now on Fostair as a daily inhaler which do have a counter.

I have been on Ventolin for decades and they never give the full dose when they are about a quarter full. So, I end up double dosing. I sometimes put the almost used one in a spacer to get more of a dose. Sometimes I just recycle them.

Thanks davidcantswim.....and everyone else who replied!

It appears we all have slightly different ways of checking whether ir not the dratted inhaler has any left.........some easier than others ๐Ÿ˜ however, as I thought, there is no actually accurate way to know, so I will continue trying to remember to tally......and always making sure there is at least one new spare one in the house.............and, I may have to try and invent a new counter method!!๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ no idea how at the moment.........but in the 21st century, we can apparently 3d print a car........but we don't have a reliable way to know if we have life saving medication in an inhaler or nor?๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค” ......is that the sound of a gauntlet being thrown down???๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†

I've always had QVar which never had a counter but have just started being prescribed Clenil which does. However, I don't pay any attention to it as I haven't had a counter for 16 years. I always have at least two standby inhalers in a drawer and when the one I'm using runs out I just use a new one and get a repeat prescription.

Luckily I never need to use a rescue inhaler unless I am having a rare attack (last one Boxing Day 2018, fingers crossed) but I suppose the solution without a counter is to carry two. I have rescue inhalers strategically placed just in case, including in the car. I check them regularly for expiry dates and 'shake weight'.

I think it is daft that the pharmaceutical companies aren't asked to provide a counter on each inhaler - it would make such a difference to all of us. We'd know when we need to get another and if we've had a good spell, we'd know what's left in the ventolin (or similar). When you're having a bad time, the last thing you need is to be counting the puffs. Extra, uneeded stress.

Soniabrown
Soniabrown
in reply to westie22

Exactly my point.....I'm feeling the stress of 'how many puffs left?'......nearly every day...especially if it's a 'not so good day'....that's why I decided to ask if any of you guys had a better idea ๐Ÿ˜Š

Gilly100
Gilly100
in reply to Soniabrown

Having 2 ventolin inhalers makes you feel so much more at ease.

I usually have four. I always lose one and canโ€™t find another. My wife brings one with her when we go out. I hide two away at home

I order well before they run out and when I am well still order the odd 2 just in case. Keep one in the car because there's nothing worse than getting somewhere and panicking because you've forgotten to bring one . I always have one in my bag but mistakes have happened.

I've never had clenil with a counter on it. I just give the canister a little shake and can usually feel when it's low and order a new one.

Have you not? All of my previous clenil have had counters......strange....

Never even knew they existed! I manage without, but it would make life a little easier.

Well now.....being me, I have messaged GSK who manufacture some of the inhalers....and strenuously suggested they start manufacturing them with reusable mouthpieces, that can be washed and have a resettable counter....so we could just all order refills when needed....and just receive the cannisters...unless you request a new mouthpiece!!!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ you never know!!

Good for you! Iโ€™m impressed. We need the equivalent of a petition to Parliament. There are so many of us with asthma struggling with this issue which is a matter of life and death as well as wasteful but the strength of our combined voice isnโ€™t heard. This is crying out for a campaign!

Jo

Billygoat
Billygoat
in reply to Billygoat

Maybe we need to ask Asthma UK to take it up for us. Someone should look at the economics of it too.

Jo

My Qvar doesnโ€™t have a counter but when I shake it before use I can hear if it still has medicine in and I go by that if Iโ€™m not sure I release a puff. I always have a spare in the fridge ready. When Iโ€™m about to start the spare I order more. I have argued with our Doctors to get x2 on 1 prescription as Iโ€™ve had one jam up before and been left without one and ended up in A&E having an asthma attack my asthma is dependent on inhalers. Always have a spare in the fridge.

SD-Zulu
SD-Zulu
in reply to Woody49

Why do you keep it in the fridge? Iโ€™m on this inhaler and never have ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Woody49
Woody49
in reply to SD-Zulu

Until you start using it it should be kept in the fridge.

Soniabrown
Soniabrown
in reply to Woody49

I've never heard of keeping inhalers in the fridge??๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

Woody49
Woody49
in reply to Soniabrown

Iโ€™ve actually googled this as Iโ€™m doubting it now and it says donโ€™t refrigerate. My Consultant told me to keep my spares in the fridge so I guess after 2 years of doing this he is wrong. Thank you Iโ€™ll put them in my cupboard I would never have questioned it otherwise appreciate your response.

SD-Zulu
SD-Zulu
in reply to Woody49

Wow! ๐Ÿ˜ณ I get my from my doctors pharmacy. Itโ€™s pre packed in the bags at least 2 days before collection and stored at room temp, no doctor or asthma nurse has told me this over several years, and no label/sticker on box or bag to tell you! ๐Ÿคฏ. Thanks for letting me know, Iโ€™ll have a look into this ๐Ÿ˜

Soniabrown
Soniabrown
in reply to SD-Zulu

Crikey....me too!

Woody49
Woody49
in reply to SD-Zulu

My Consultant is wrong sorry Iโ€™ve googled it and it says donโ€™t refrigerate once dispensed Iโ€™ve never questioned his words just assumed he was the expert.....Iโ€™ve only had asthma 2 years so at least I know now!

Soniabrown
Soniabrown
in reply to Woody49

No worries....๐Ÿ˜Š

SD-Zulu
SD-Zulu
in reply to Woody49

Haha no worries, it comes as a shock when the professionals are wrong, unfortunately it happens too often! I doubt it would effect their quality anyway, and at least youโ€™d remember where they were, and know that you had 1 left! ๐Ÿ˜Š

My asthma nurse told me to put the ventolin in a bowl of water think the way it floats says how much in, sorry not very specific or much help ha! It is annoying no counter!

what I do is I weigh the canister. When itโ€™s less than 10g I consider it empty! I searched the web for that info a little while ago cause I couldnโ€™t keep up with counting the puffs. The canister weighs a little less than 16g when full.

Amakura
Amakura
in reply to Boswell08

Oh my goodness, I'm definitely going to do this from now on. Thank you!

It would always be a good idea to have smart inhalers so it the one you are using runs out you have a back up

Take the canister out of the holder and shake it. You can often tell by the weight too.

After complaining to the asthma nurse at my GP practice about the lack of a counter on the blue inhaler, she prescribed the Easyhaler Salbutamol sulfate which, thank goodness, does have a counter on it. That is of course my rescue inhaler. My preventer is Fostair which has an easy to read counter on it too. Try requesting the Easyhaler in future. Hope that helps.

Ah....see I haven't ever seen the nurse face to face about my asthma.....this has all happened to me during lockdown...I will sleep though, that would be very helpful, thank you๐Ÿ˜Š

Excellent question!

I've had this issue since being diagnosed with asthma during my toddler years. How many decades later, I nearly collapsed when my pulmicort, my trusted buddy, was swapped recently for Fostair that had.... Wait for it... some sort of device that counted how many puffs I had administered. I was elated beyond belief. It felt as though I was driving a brand new car. Alas, my salbutamol doesn't have one. So, I check the old fashioned way, I shake it whilst placing it next to my ear (to date, I don't know why I do this because I can't hear anything. Probably out of habit ๐Ÿ˜‚) in order to guess / estimate how much is left. When it feels, half way-ish, I order a repeat.

I'm aware this is not the best method and to be honest, I wouldn't recommend it because there have been quite a few occasions where I have been caught dangerously short due to forgetting my archaic method.

It's a tough one to answer but excellent question.

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