You have been given an inhaler to help with the management of your child’s asthma. Medications for asthma are usually inhaled as this goes straight to the airways where they are needed. There are two main types of treatment for asthma: preventers and relievers.
Preventers are used to help control swelling and inflammation in the airways. They take about 2-4 weeks to build up effectiveness and should then be taken regularly even when your child is feeling well. Preventer inhalers are various colours.
Everyone with asthma should have a reliever inhaler. Relievers are medications taken to relieve asthma symptoms such as cough and wheeze. They relax the muscles in the airways within five to ten minutes making it easier to breathe. Reliever inhalers are usually blue.
There are many different devices for taking preventer or reliever inhalers. It is important that your child’s inhaler technique is checked annually; getting the inhaler technique right is very important because it can help to manage asthma symptoms better.
Further information can be found from the Asthma + Lung UK website (opens in a new tab)
or phone 0300 222 5800
Contact clinical nurse specialist on 01223 216585
- Fold down the cap that covers the mouthpiece
- Shake the inhaler
- If this is a new inhaler or the inhaler has not been used in the past 5 days or more, you will need to unscrew the top of your inhaler so you can see the inhaler canister inside. Press down on the inhaler canister twice to release two test sprays into the air with the mouthpiece pointing away from you. Replace the top back onto your inhaler
- Facing away from the inhaler device, breathe out gently as far as you comfortably can
- Keeping the inhaler upright, put the mouthpiece in your mouth and ensure your lips are tightly sealed around the mouthpiece. Do not block the air vents at the top of the inhaler with your fingers
- Breathe in slowly and deeply – continue to breathe in as you feel the inhaler puff in your mouth, and continue breathing in beyond when the inhaler puffs. This is classed as a breath-actuated inhaler which means it automatically delivers a dose as you take a breath in
- Remove the inhaler from your mouth and hold your breath for 5-10 seconds or for as long as you comfortably can
- Breathe out gently away from your inhaler
- For further doses, wait 30-60 seconds and repeat steps 2 to 8
- Close the cap that covers the mouthpiece
- If your inhaler contains steroid medication (for example Qvar/beclometasone), rinse your mouth with water after inhalation
We are smoke-free
Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.
Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998. www.cuh.nhs.uk/contact-us/accessible-information/
Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge
Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151