British Lung Foundation

Brown inhalers how long do u use them for?

I developed asthma 2 years ago but only picked out a few months ago, first it started out with very bad hayfever then cold like symptoms, after that last year in September I had this very bad chronic cough and developed a dust allergy then as it got more serious my mom decided to take me to the doctors and he listened to my chest then asked me a few questions. 'What problems have you been having'? 'Coughing, wheezing and lots of other things' then he said ' it appears that you have asthma because I herd wheezing in your chest. That was all well and good but about 3 months later it got more bad so I went to the doctors again and the asthma nurse gave me a brown inhaler for bad asthma symptoms .

4 Replies

I'm using them a couple of years now but I have reduced the dose, only 2 puffs twice a day - it started at 4- twice a day plus nasal spray! . I also have a green inhaler too. It is very important that they personalise your treatment plan. Do you see the asthma nurse regularly? Once they get you stable they should then show you how to reduce the levels and keep you on a maintenance plan. It probably took me a year or so to get it all under control. - All the best


Hi there, welcome to The British Lung Foundation. Keep coming here and keep asking questions until your condition is stabilised.

I'm guessing you're in the USA where meds & medics are expensive?

It's absolutely vital that you get a) a proper diagnosis and b) the correct doses of medication tailored to your needs. How do you know you're allergic to house dust mite? Did they do allergy testing?

If it's truly asthma and house dust mite allergy the symptoms are usually seasonal.

Look up as much as you can on UK sites for info on asthma to learn as much as you can.

You need to get your asthma under control with medication. The inhalers have different measured doses so for instance, if your brown one, taken regularly isn't working you may need a higher dose to get you through the worst of the winter.

The reason to get the medication right now is to protect you from getting infections and so protect and keep your airways healthy for ever.

There are lots of clips on YouTube explaining what happen to the airways plus breathing techniques.

I wish you all the very best for the future xx :) - oh and please don't ever smoke will you :)


I've been on 'brown' inhalers (ie inhaled steroid) since I was a child. I'm currently on an inhaler called Seratide, which is a mixture of a stronger steroid and a long-acting Ventolin-type drug. Be aware that if you do have asthma and you've had a flare-up, sometimes the inhalers take too long to kick in so you might need a steroid tablet for a couple of days. In the long run, if you have asthma, you will probably need some kind of preventer inhaler. If the brown inhaler is Becotide, that is one of the milder ones so you can go up doses to stronger inhalers if need-be. But it is very important you are probably assessed and monitored by your doctor.

Do you have a Peak Flow meter? Its a device you blow into that keeps a check of how well your lungs are doing. It can help distinguish between allergy, stuffy nose symptoms and lung symptoms. Every asthmatic should have one in their cupboard.

1 like

You should be using your medicines as prescribed to you by the doctor or respiratory nurse, the prescription should state how many puffs and how often. If you are unsure if you need to continue using this medicine check back with your doctor or the respiratory clinic. Check with your Mom also, concerning repeat prescriptions.


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