British Lung Foundation
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Volumatic spacer Device

Good afternoon everyone

please can anyone advise me as i am having a dispute with my Gp regargding my spacer device. the issue i have is this unit is almost 10 months old. I have asked my surgery for a replacement as i was to told by the Ashtma nurse at hospitol that you have to change the spacer every 6 months. but my Gp won't have this he say you change the spacer every 3 years as it is durable plastic, but i mentioned that the manufactures says that in must be changed every year but they say the manufacturers would say that as they make big profits.

i also said that it would build up static altough i wash it every other week but they won't listen

before i used the spacer i was ill all the time i was using sybicort 400/12 twice a day also Atrovent twice daily and ventolin 10 times daily also singulair 10mg every night.

now i am on Seretide 250 twice a day and Atrovent and singulair but since i changed to using a spacer with the new meds i feel better and i use my ventolin 4-5 times a day.

please can you advice me on how long a spacer will last

Thank you

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26 Replies

If it is the large plastic bubble type spacer then I was told by a PR nurse that it should be changed every 6 months. My nurse at the doctors changes mine every time I have my check ups.



i change mine every six months,

if you pay for your prescriptions, they are cheaper to buy.



Your spacer should be cleaned once a month in warm soapy water to prevent build up of medicine residue on the inside. It should be left to drip dry rather than dried with a cloth. Drying with a cloth, or cleaning the spacer more frequently than every month, can cause static to build up on the inside of the spacer, which can impair its performance.

Spacers should be replaced every 6 to 12 months.

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every 6 months for me too.Then again i live in same town as preshous


Hello Bridgend,

I get about mine changed about once a year. But I expect yours will have to last until you drop it and damage it!


This seems the case Thank-you

I dropped my Volumatic on a tiled floor and it broke!!! Also both of my spacers are on my monthly repeat prescription so I just tick the box if I need a new one.

That sounds like a very good idea. Butterfingers Bridgend?

Bev x

You have lots of answers already Bridgend. NHS Sheffield (link below) has a lot of pdf downloads, scroll down to the last one listed on Using inhalers - volumatic spacers, there may be some more information that you can present to your doctor about this.

It may pay to see another doctor in your surgery or if you have a resident respiratory nurse attached to that surgery he/she should be able to prescribe you with a new volumatic spacer.

Thank-you very much

all i can say change doctor.((mardy ---)).



The advice on NHS clinical evidence site states change spaver device every 6 to 12 months


Hi brigend, every 6 months was the advice given to me, every week swash it about in mild soapy water, use nothing other than that ie no bottle brushes, cloths etc, leave to air dry, and I ask for and get two, one washed and air dried one in use! Don't you have a COPD nurse? She can ask your doctor on your behalf! Good luck... Kate xx


Oops! Ive had my volumatic for best part of 20 years, yes twenty!! I havent had to use it continually though, and it seems to work fine.

But from the posts here it does seem your GP is wrong, sorry you're having a struggle with him Bridgend. And thanks for raising this, and raising my awareness - I've only become aware of replacement issue by reading this. I'll definitely ask for a new one now.



trust me spacers are usless


When I am very breathless I find my spacer more use as taking ventolin at a time like that I am not as good at the technique.Yes i agree Terrzy that it may be useless for you but all people are different.I say use one if it is better for you.nb I did actually break one 2 weeks after renewal.My GP just gave me another prescription for another.


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