Using inhalers when they cause oral thrush

Hi I'm a newbie and was diagnosed with COPD 6 years ago. I was hospitalised two years ago with an exacerbation and was told I also was retaining CO2. I am now on bi pap and constant oxygen. I have a question for anybody who has had trouble with thrush in the mouth from using inhalers. I am supposed to use ventolin, spiriva and secretive but after using for a few days develop really bad thrush making it impossible to eat or drink. The only relief is when I use Daktarin for it but I am on warfarin and this rais s my blood levels so high the Dr doesn't like me using it. I have tried the inhalers with a spacer, rinsing my mouth and brushing my teeth. Please.......if anybody has any advice?

12 Replies

  • Hi Mmoll, I use Symbicort and if I don't rinse and gargle after inhaling then I get oral thrush and as we know very unpleasant. I use only water to rinse and gargle. I read an article long time ago on taking care of oral thrush. The main part which I recall was the advice of " not " to use " mouth wash solution" as it destroys our natural defense against thrush. Hope this helps.

    Cheers. Dave.

    Breath easy exercise often.

  • Thanks Dave I don't use mouthwash but appreciate advice


  • Hi Mmoll, I forgot to mention that I use a tongue scraper which does help. Similar to below.

    Cheers Dave.

  • Garlic is believed to have antifungal and antibacterial properties, which is why it is usually recommended in getting rid of a fungal infection. The patient can either eat raw garlic or take garlic capsules for this purpose.

    Yogurt is said to help improve the balance of the bacteria in the body and therefore, plain and unflavored yogurt improves the condition significantly. Yogurt with any amount of sugar can aggravate the condition, by encouraging the bacterial growth. For best results eating yogurt with probiotic bacteria is recommended.

    Add 5 to 7 drops of tea tree oil to a glass of cold water and gargle with it. The solution should be allowed to touch all the parts of the mouth, but should never be swallowed. The remedy should be tried twice a day, for around 2 or 3 minutes each time.

    Avoid using any commercial mouthwash till the infection is cured completely. In lieu of such mouthwash, equal parts of myrrh, licorice and Echinacea should be blended, for a homemade solution that you can gargle with.

    Clean the tongue with a soft piece of cotton every day, to get rid of the white cottage cheese-like layer. To prevent bleeding, apply only mild pressure.

    I have to use inhalers as well the powdered one after I use it I swish water in my mouth then spit, then gargle and spit, just to be sure I use salt-water and gargle-swish and rinse. I wait about 15 min before I use my spuriva. I wear dentures so they get a good cleaning fom the powder, if you don't an electric toothbrush is great and you can get the roof of your mouth, under your tongue as well as the top.

    The one thing the dr told me was after using any powdered inhaler do not swallow, immediately rinse, gargle and spit. It's the white powder residual building up that can cause thrush (no fun) be kind to yourself it won't last forever, your dr can also help with antifungal medication until it clears up.

  • Hi thank you so much for all ur advice, will b trying them all, my Dt won't prescribe me antifungal meds as it interferes with the warfarin MedsI have to take, oh joy of joys lol.

  • the salt water will help heal, be sure to use warm water it's more gentle, start with small amount of salt and increase when you can, good luck, all the info mostly came from google is you want to look it up, Im not good at doing the link things so I copy and paste lol, just in case anyone thinks I'm playing dr. If you do google it there is a whole list of foods not to eat while you have thrush because it can aggravate it, like citrus and coffee,, megga foods. I jut googled remedies for treating thrush.

  • Hi Mmn ! Gargle well with water after using your inhalers. A spoon or two of natural yogurt helps as well.

  • Thanks for advice will b trying that

  • Mmoll I have the same problem the doc gave me one capsule it's amazing cleared all up.

  • I used to have lots of problems with oral thrush and tried all sorts of meds. In the end my gp suggested swilling my mouth with salt water! For me it really works and far better than yet more meds to take!

  • Thanks for that advice, tried the salt water, dlidnt appear to help me but will b trying natural yoghurt and will try salt water as well as two together may help

  • Always rinse - I normally use tap water but if any sign of thrush combine half teaspoon of salt and same of bicarbonate of soda in small glass of water - works for me.

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