British Lung Foundation
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Hi on discharge from hospital the respiratory consultant stated I have COPD. He made a diagnosis from a CT scan. He wrote me up for Fostair 1 puff twice a day in reality a dose more in line with asthma rather than COPD. That was the only medication I received.

Having researched COPD I went to my GP and got checked over to start an exercise programme along the same lines as pulmonary rehabilitation. I had an ECG etc and it was fine. The GP said I should have a Ventolin inhalor and take a couple of puffs before starting.

I am still waiting for a spirometry test to find out what stage I am. I suspect I am mild or maybe moderate as I normally only get out of breath when exercising and pushing myself. I only take the Ventolin if I am pushing my boundaries for the first time. Yesterday I took a couple of puffs because I planned to run and walk on the six minute test.It all went fine with no problems.

The only problem is on the days I take Ventolin I have problem sleeping. Normally I get six hours good sleep every night. Having eliminated other causes the only thing I do different on poor sleep days is take Ventolin. Two questions can you be sensitive to Ventolin in this way? And as anyone else found that causes sleep problems?

8 Replies

Hi Badbessie. Yes, there are known side effects with Salbutamol (the active ingredient in Ventolin). I had the exact same problem when I first started using Ventolin many, many years ago and I thought I was imagining it! It was only temporary though, and my sleep returned to normal after about a week or so. I guess my body just had to get used to it. The other side effect I had was that I was getting rather shaky (very unpleasant side effect). But that as well passed with time. You might try taking your last dose a few hours before you go to bed to give the Salbutamol a chance to (mostly) get out of your system before you sleep.

Fingers crossed!

Best wishes



Yes, this is a well-documented side-effect of Salbutamol. If you use it frequently, the effect gets less. But then it's only designed for occasional use, with Fostair ( or other steroid/long-acting bronchodilators) as regular treatment.


Try using just one puff of Ventolin before exertion and do your exertions am rather than pm.

Always wait 30 seconds before a 2nd dose of spray inhalers as per instructions. P

1 like

you will b fine I have been diagnosed 5 years I have a demanding manuel job just think positive stay away from smoke if you drive keep windows shut in traffic put recirculate air on in car eat fruit exercise I walk up 10 floors in appartmeant blok couple times a week keeps u heart strong but most of all think positive as in your going to win this copd over its just a warning to lead healthy life I have ashma to


Sorry to hear. Also make sure you have vitamin A and D. I also have emphysema due to air pollution. Emphysema just means aging of the lungs. I now wear a pollution mask on main roads and my lung age as dropped from 70 to 60 years old. Keep active.


Hi, emphysema is not just an aging of the lungs, it is a chronic, irreversible disease characterised by abnormal enlargement of air spaces in the lungs. This is accompanied by destruction of the tissue lining the walls of the air spaces.


I struggled for 8 months using Salbutimol, in the end it had no effect on my breathing, but the leg cramps were very painful from it. There is an alternative however, Terbutaline Sulphate, or by it's trade name Bricanyl that I now use, it works brilliantly for me. But we are all different, what works for one may not work for another.


Thankyou for your replies. Obviously it's the Ventolin that's causing the problems. I think I will keep it for emergencies rather than as a precautionary measure. I will ring the hospital and the respiratory teams views.


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