Information about our Ventolin, Clenil and Seretide inhalers and using your Aerochamber

Ventolin

Ventolin, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘blue’ or “reliever” inhaler, works by opening up the airways in your chest to allow you to breathe more easily. It quickly stops symptoms of wheezing and breathlessness, but only works for a few hours.

How to use Ventolin

Ventolin is used whenever you feel your chest is tight or your asthma is bothering you. You should at least once a year ask your pharmacist to check that you are using your inhaler properly.

Symptom control

If you need to use your Ventolin inhaler more than twice a day this indicates that your symptoms are not well controlled. It may be that you require stronger or additional inhalers and so we advise you to discuss this with your regular doctor as soon as possible. If your breathlessness is severe please attend your local Accident and Emergency Department straight away. In all cases it is important that you continue to have regular (at least once a year) reviews of your Ventolin inhaler use.

Possible side-effects of Ventolin

Most patients do not experience side-effects from Ventolin, however you may experience a racing heartbeat, light-headedness, headaches, muscle cramps or a slight tremor or shakes. Any side-effects should not last more than an hour.

If you have heart problems and experience chest pain or other symptoms of worsening heart disease whilst using Ventolin then you should seek medical advice right away. For a full list of side-effects please take time to read the manufacturer’s product information leaflet that accompanies your inhaler. Please contact us via your Patient Record if you have any concerns about side-effects.

Clenil

Clenil is a steroid inhaler, also known as a preventer inhaler. It does not stop acute attacks of asthma but is taken regularly to keep the lungs healthy and to stop attacks happening. If your asthma symptoms worsen suddenly you need to take your reliever inhaler (such as Ventolin) to help with this quickly.

How to use Clenil

You should take your steroid inhaler regularly at the dose prescribed. In most people this will provide complete asthma control. Clenil works slowly so you don’t feel benefit immediately but when used on a daily basis it stops the lungs from swelling and tightening. If you only use it intermittently you won’t get much benefit. Everyone should have a regular inhaler technique check as statistics show that more than 50 % of people do not use inhalers correctly, increasing risks of side effects and the drug not working properly. Your local pharmacist can give you a demonstration.

If your breathlessness becomes severe please contact your GP urgently or attend your local Accident and Emergency Department straight away. In all cases it is important that you continue to have a review of your asthma at least once a year. 

Possible side-effects of Clenil

Most patients do not experience side-effects. However the most common side effect is a hoarse voice or developing thrush in your mouth. To help prevent this risk, please wash out your mouth or brush your teeth after taking your steroid inhaler.

At unusually high doses and taken on a long term basis there are more serious side effects, such bone thinning; for a full list of side-effects please take time to read the manufacturer’s product information leaflet that accompanies your medicine. Please contact us via your Patient Record if you have any concerns about side–effects. 

Seretide

Seretide is sometimes referred to as a preventer inhaler. It does not stop acute attacks of asthma but is taken regularly to keep the lungs healthy and to stop attacks happening. It works slowly, so will not immediately feel as though it is helping but, taken every day, it is the best way to keep your asthma controlled. It is a combination of Fluticasone (a steroid) and Serevent (similar to Ventolin but longer acting). It is used when a steroid inhaler alone does not control asthma well enough. The Serevent relaxes the tiny muscles in the airways reasonably quickly and this effect can last for several hours. It does not act as quickly as Ventolin, so you need Ventolin in sudden asthma attacks.

How to use Seretide

You should take Seretide on a daily basis. When used like this, it stops the lungs from swelling and tightening as well as relaxing the airways. If you only use it intermittently you won’t get much benefit. Everyone should have a regular inhaler technique check as statistics show that more than 50 % of people do not use inhalers correctly, increasing risks of side effects and the drug not working properly. Your local pharmacist can do this.

If your breathlessness becomes severe please contact your GP urgently or attend your local Accident and Emergency Department.

Possible side-effects of Seretide

At the doses prescribed by us, most patients do not experience side-effects. However you may experience a hoarse voice or develop thrush in your mouth. To help prevent this risk, please wash out your mouth or brush your teeth after taking your steroid inhaler. A fast heart beat, palpitations and muscle cramps are possible uncommon side effects. Rarer side effects can occur and are listed in the patient information leaflet that comes with this medication.

Aerochamber

Using an Aerochamber with your inhaler will result in better control of your asthma and fewer side-effects from your asthma medicines. You can use it regularly or just when your asthma is at it's worst i.e. during a cold.

How to use an Aerochamber

1. Remove the cap from your inhaler and check the mouthpiece for any foreign objects that could be inhaled.
2. Shake your inhaler and slot the mouthpiece into the Aerochamber.
3. Place the mouthpiece of the Aerochamber into your mouth.
4. You can now either take one slow deep breath and hold it for ten seconds (or for as long as you can manage) or you can take five gentle breaths in through the mouthpiece and out through your nose, whichever you prefer. NB - You are breathing too deeply if you hear a 'whistling' noise.
5. Remove the mouthpiece of the Aerochamber from your mouth and relax.
6. Wait about 30 seconds then repeat steps three to five if you are prescribed more than one puff of your inhaler.

Top tips for looking after your Aerochamber

Wash your Aerochamber every month with dilute washing up liquid and warm water. Rinse and leave to air dry before using again. You should replace your Aerochamber every 12 months. 

General information about using our Asthma Treatment Service

Interaction with other medicines

If you start taking any new medicines while using your inhalers then please seek guidance from us via your online patient record. Alternatively your GP or the doctor who prescribes a new medicine for you should be able to give you guidance.

Pregnancy

Approximately 30% of pregnant women have a worsening of asthma during pregnancy. If you become pregnant you should discuss your asthma with your GP and not use online care at this stage.

Aftercare

If you experience any side-effects from taking your asthma medicine or want advice about the use of your inhaler please contact use via your Patient Record.

Informing your GP

It’s important that your GP has an overview of any medicine you take. We would like to inform your GP that we have issued your medicine, so if you are agreeable please provide us with your GP’s name and fax number or address. It is important that you provide us with the correct fax number because we will rely upon the number you provide.