Nebulised saline solution

Has anyone experience of using nebulised Sodium Chloride (saltwater), 7%, double the strength of seawater? I have 4 ml to nebulise once a day and it takes forever, at least half an hour. I don't have time to do this in a morning so I'm doing it in the evening whilst watching tv, it helps to pass the time. I'm told it gets into all the nooks and crannies in your lungs and helps clear them but may take 2 - 3 weeks before I feel any benefit! I thought too much salt was bad for you so if I absorb this will anything happen? Hope you are all O.K. this cold, grey morning. Lizzy

16 Replies

Thanks very much flibberti, your information is very helpful. I have to go back in 3 weeks to the clinic to see how I'm getting on with it. I will see if there is anything I can do to speed up the inhalation process. Many thanks again. Lizzy.

My husband was prescribed after I asked the practise nurse to prescribe it so actually we have never had any advise about using it! Regardless he tends to use it when he is suffering an exacerbation (severe copd sufferer) - sometimes he finds it helpful sometimes he doesn't. Now I am wondering if he ought to use it more often or at least with more regularity. Another question to ask the doctor! Take care, TAD xx

Hi Lizzy, I have regular saline nebs but only 0.9% strength and find it does help in clearing my chest. That seems to be a very high dosage for home nebs (my opinion only though). I hope they do help in clearing the 'gunk' that can be very problematic, I would definitely recommend rinsing the mask and reservoir after each use to stop it clogging up. Take care, Richard.

I am assuming you had an assessment at the hospital for hypertonic Lizzy. That is the usual procedure to ensure that when you have nebbed a bronchodilator followed by nebbed hypertonic you do not experience wheezy spasms.

Flibberti has explained how the hypertonic works as opposed to the isotonic 0.9% and it is frequently used for bronch and cf. I would always use a bronchodilator first. I also prefer to use a mouthpiece rather than a mask and I always drink about a pint of water when using hypertonic. I don't use it all the time, sometimes I use the 0.9% (depends how I am) but always about 15-20 minutes before doing physio. Half an hour sounds a long timeto neb - didn't they mention loaning you a neb? As Richard says for lung hygiene all bits and pieces should be washed thoroughly and air dried after use - but I guess you know that anyway.

I don't understand their reasoning 'it may take 2-3 week for you to see any benefit'. You really should see a benefit whilst doing your lung clearance straight after. Unless they are talking about your lung health generally.

i wish you well with it Lizzy.

love c

Hi Cofdrop, yes I was assessed at hospital, I had to use my nebulised salbutamol first and then the saline using a mouthpiece. I use the saline once a day and have a glass of water handy because it makes me cough. The Physio who did my assessment said it would take 10 - 12 minutes but I can assure you it takes much longer than that. I do wash all my equipment after use and sterilise it as well occasionally. I think when they said 2 - 3 weeks they meant my general health. Thanks for your input, hope you are staying well. Take care. Lizzy x

Gonna do mine soon so I will time it as it could take longer than I think as I am usually doing something else at the same time. When I first started using it I had a raw burning feeling but I don't get that now. I use hospitals Philips Resperonics.


Hyper took 20 mins Lizzy. B'dilator 8/9 mins. cx

hi there I use a saline neb at 7% but its only a 2.5 ml capsule thing for the machine and I find fairly immediate relief as others say though I do use my bronchodilator before I start and it usually takes a max of 10 minutes. best of luck with yours though.

Hi TrishD, my nebulised salbutamol is 2.5 ml and takes 10 mins so I can't understand why 4 ml of saline takes so much longer. Thanks for your input. Take care. Lizzy

My consultant said my lungs would be too irritated by the hyper-solution, so I use 0.9% saline and it works fairly well.

About timing. Wehn I was in hospital, they gave me 10 ml saline! (because the doc had prescribed 1 ampoule, but had not indicated any ml!) It took about an hour for the whole lot to be absorbed. They then diminished to 5 ml; that took half an hour!

At home, I use 2.5 ml..that takes 10 minutes!

In hospital, they have the disposable (blue) kit, which is not very efficient. At home, I have the "durable" kit (transparent). this seems to be much more efficient.

I've alo noticed that when they renew the kit, they don't give the "durab2 kit any more. They expect you to change this every month! I still use my "durable" kit and put it in water and 5 minutes in the microwave. I believe the microwave will do away with any living beasty.

i have used saline for years. loosens the mucus. i have a ultrsonic nebupizer takes about 5 mins on high setting, cost about £12 from ebay, i have found them better than compressor ones and they are silent . heres a link to show you what they look like

Thanks davidbryn I will follow that up. Take care. Lizzy.

Just checked this out and it seems very suitable. I will ask when I next visit hospital to see what they say. Many thanks again. Lizzy.

If I buy one will they give me the medicine to put in it?

I wouldn't recommend that you use anything without first checking with your medical advisors. I wouldn't expect the inhalation liquid to be available without prescription but you seem to be able to obtain anything on the internet these days. Please seek advice and take care. Lizzy.

artist, No! You have to have it prescribed by your doc. I think you can buy the saline 0.9% from your chemist. Best to have it prescribed, because your doc will know what you're doing! For future reference!

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