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British Lung Foundation
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Asthma/ emphysema

Hello lovely people 👏

As you all know I have asthma and emphysema my GP told me today that there not under control;

Now having this for a year; I feel better now than I have done! For a year plus!

Also they said this and then nothing is done? What I’m I meant to do with this information? it’s kinda hit really hard coz I thought I was doing really well!

They say I’m using my inhalers to much but my nurse I saw 1 month ago said all was fine. The instructions given is prn witch means when necessary; but my GP says only twice a week? I use my inhaler twice a day; sometimes more.

I’m so upset; I really thought I was beating it!

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you 💜


11 Replies

It sounds like you were being advised to try and back-off a bit and they put it across too strongly. The stuff that you are taking and is making you feel great could probably become harmful to you if you carried on with it too long at that level. This is were experience comes in.The aim is to slowly reduce the dozes until you still feel great but on lesser amounts. Works like like with a lot medicines.


Thanks for the replay Don; but how do you not take an inhaler when you need one? Scared to be honest 😩


That’s were experience comes in. How do you know you ‘need’ it unless you really try without? You will read on here of ways to relieve your discomfort in other ways.


You didn't say why you had occasion to see your GP or what your inhalers are but he seems to have been less than helpful, given that your nurse was happy when you last saw her and you say the doctor hasn't changed any treatment.

I too have asthma and emphysema, the latter of which is severe, and I use a Ventolin inhaler at least 4 times a day, sometimes more. I believe that this amount of use would indicate that asthma is not controlled but the emphysema is taken into account too. I was told by my practice nurse and also at pulmonary rehab to use the Ventolin 15 minutes before using my preventer inhaler to 'open up' the airways and make the preventer more effective as well as PRN.

I don't see the harm in what you are doing if you feel ok, your symptoms are under control, you have felt well for so long and your nurse is happy. I can understand why you are puzzled and concerned by what your doctor said, I would be too. More explanation from the doctor would no doubt help though in the end I think you are the best judge of how you feel and what works for you. We are all different even with similar diagnoses. You could try reducing how often you use your inhaler but I personally would go back to what you have been doing if you feel worse.

Best wishes

1 like

You don’t say which inhaler you are said to be overusing. Assuming it is Salbutamol, it acts for four hours so if you are requiring it more often than that it could indicate worsening asthma. You can check this yourself by recording your peak flow. As you probably already know, worsening asthma requires an increase in your preventer ie steroid inhaler.

Your inhaler will work much better if you use a spacer so if you don’t already have one, ask for a prescription. Aerochamber is small so easy to carry about. Also easy to clean.


Asthma and severe emphysema are usually not under control and only the symptoms of both are with the use of inhalers. I have never heard of an inhaler for either condition that you would use once a week. I would find a different doctor. You are right...most fast acting inhalers are always as needed.


You might receive more help if you list the inhalers and treatment that you are using. There are a number of long acting bronchodilators, taken once or twice a day that are particularly useful in cases like yours. They can have the effect of reducing the need to use Salbutamol so often. Are you using this type of inhaler already?


Hello Bella395

The treatment I’m on is:

Clenil Modulite 200micrograms/dose inhaler

Montelukast 10mg tablets

Relvar ellipta - Fluticasone furoate 184micrograms/dose / Vilanterol 22micrograms/dose

Salamol 100micrograms/dose Easi-Breathe inhaler

Carbocisteine 375mg tablets

And it’s the Salamol that the nurse said use as needed; but my GP saying use no more then 3 times a week.

Thank you


I'm from U.S. and GP's know basics about copd and asthma which is why they refer to a Pulmonologist as that is their specialty. Have you seen a Pulmonologist?


Yes I have a respiratory doctor & nurse.


Hi, can i ask a question i was recently diagnosed with emphysema and i said to the specialist "you mean copd don,t you" and she said no she meant emphysema so whats the difference i thought it was the same thing but i see people saying they,ve got copd and other people saying they,ve got emphysema. I,m so confused i did ask the specialist but she didn,t really give me an answer that i understood.Thanks for your help XX


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