So How Can I Save On Inhalers
Talk to your doctor about an inhaler that has a generic. In recent years, as patents have worn off, more and more inhalers have gone generic. Fluticasone/salmeterol , and albuterol are two of the more popular inhalers that have gone generic recently.
Use a manufacturer coupon or patient assistance programs. Some manufacturers offer programs that can help you afford your prescription. Call your inhalers manufacturer to see if there are any programs you qualify for.
If you have insurance, make sure your brand is on your formulary. The majority of plans do offer preferred coverage for some inhalers, but if for some reason your plan doesnt cover your preferred inhaler, talk to your doctor about submitting an appeal.
Use a GoodRx coupon. GoodRx offers discounts for all FDA approved inhalers online. A discount can save you up to 80% on your out of pocket cost. Every little bit helps!
Try to appeal your coverage. If you have insurance and your plan doesnt cover your medication, ask your doctor about submitting an appeal, Some plans require prior authorizations meaning you need permission from your insurance plan and a special request from your doctor before you can fill your prescription. If you have insurance, call your provider and ask how to get this process started.
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Understanding Your Childs Inhalers
Your childs GP or asthma nurse will explain which inhalers they need and why, and exactly when they need to take them.
Most children with asthma are prescribed two main types of asthma inhaler:
- Preventer inhaler your child takes this every day, as prescribed, to help reduce inflammation. It lowers the chance of triggers causing asthma symptoms.
- Reliever inhaler used to relieve symptoms when they get them.
Most children are also prescribed a spacer or facemask to use with their inhaler.
Its important to understand what inhalers your child is taking, if you want to understand more about your childs medicines, it may help for you to:
- read our pages about asthma medicine for children
- ask a pharmacist for information about your childs inhalers
- read the Patient Information Leaflets that come inside the box with the inhaler
- call our Helpline on 0300 222 5800 . Or you can WhatsApp them on 07378 606 728.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms that affect your lungs. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, coughing or wheezing. They can order pulmonary function testing . Lung function tests help diagnose a lung condition that a bronchodilator may treat.
Its also a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider if you need to use SABAs more than twice per week. Using SABAs more than twice a week is a sign of unstable asthma. Your healthcare provider may wish to change the dose of any long-term control medicines that you take.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Lung conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affect your airways. Bronchodilators are medications that can help you control the symptoms of a lung condition.
Always follow your healthcare providers medication plan. If your bronchodilators arent controlling your symptoms, reach out to your healthcare provider right away. They can answer your questions, address any concerns and find the right care plan for you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/09/2022.
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Check List For Good Usage
- Ask a health professional to demonstrate how to use your inhaler and check your technique.
- Make sure the inhaler is not past its expiry date.
- Make sure your inhaler is not empty.
- If you are using a spacer, make sure it is clean visit the Australian Asthma Handbook for recommendations on how to clean a spacer.
Every Day: Control Inhaler
These inhalers help prevent flares and keep symptoms from getting worse. Theyre called control inhalers because they have medicine that controls inflammation.
Use yours as often as your doctor tells you to, usually once or twice a day:
- Whether or not youre having symptoms
- Even if you feel like youre doing better
If youre supposed to use it two times a day, aim for 12 hours apart.
When you begin using this kind of inhaler, it may be 2 to 4 weeks before you notice the drugs start to work.
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Helping Your Baby To Use Their Inhaler
Spacers with facemasks are for babies or younger children who find it hard to use a spacer with a mouthpiece.
If your child is younger than one, they will probably use a small spacer and mask. Around their first birthday, they will probably be given a slightly bigger spacer and mask.
If youre struggling to give your child their medicine, your GP or asthma nurse can help you find the best way to give your baby their asthma medicine.
How To Use An Inhaler With A Spacer And Mouthpiece
Learning how to properly use an inhaler with a spacer and mouthpiece for asthma ensures the medicine gets deposited into the lungs. Incorrect technique can leave some of the particles from the medicine on your tongue or throat, where it is useless. Inhalers spray the medicine out so that you can breathe it deep into the lungs. A spacer, or holding chamber, is an attachment that should always be used with your inhaler. The spacer holds the medicine in place so you can breathe it in easier. If you have any further questions about inhalers, spacers or mouthpieces contact your doctors office, asthma care team or pharmacy.
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Will I Always Have To Take The Same Amount Of Medicine
Not always. You will probably take more medicine when you begin treatment to get control of your asthma. Work with your doctor to learn which medicine control your asthma best and how much you need. Once your asthma is well-controlled, your doctor may be able to reduce the amount of medicine you take. The goal is to gain control of your asthma as soon as possible and then control it with as little medicine as possible. Once long-term anti-inflammatory therapy begins, your doctor should monitor you every one to six months. This is to see how your asthma medicines are working and if your asthma is well controlled.
Side Effects Of Asthma Medications
Many medications have side effects. For example, inhaled steroids can cause mild problems, such as thrush infections and a sore throat, or more serious ones including eye disorders and bone loss. Keep your doctor up to date with how well your treatment is working and whether you have side effects. Theyâll work with you to keep your asthma under control with as little medicine as possible.
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Talk To Your Asthma Specialist
If youâve been diagnosed with asthma but your treatment doesnât seem to work anymore, itâs time to see your doctor again. Likewise, if youâre having to use your rescue inhaler too often, see your doctor. You may need to change your asthma treatment for better control.
Though asthma is common, itâs a serious condition that needs a diagnosis and treatment. Talk to your doctor for asthma support, and find the medications that work best for you.
Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler
The built-in face mask delivers targeted relief directly into your mouth and nose. Moisture and humidity can help open up swollen bronchial passages, and soothe sore tissue in your throat and lungs.
Fill the tank with water, then the self-regulating heater will safely boil the water. Use the adjustable steam control to mix cold air into the steam to your comfort level. Each treatment lasts 5 to 15 minutes, and its safe to use multiple times per day.
Bonus: This also works as a face steamer, which can be helpful for softening skin and using wash-off face masks.
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How Do I Know Im Taking It Properly
Whatever inhaler you’re prescribed you need to know how to use it in the best way. This is known as good inhaler technique. A good inhaler technique helps get the medicine to the lungs where its needed.
- Ask your GP or asthma nurse to show you how to use your inhaler.
- Ask your pharmacist to check your inhaler technique.
- Watch our inhaler videos.
- Use a spacer with your metered dose inhaler . This is so you don’t have to worry about getting the timing right for pressing the inhaler and breathing in.
Types Of Asthma Inhalers
The medicine inside an inhaler goes straight into the airways when you breathe in. This means that you need a much smaller dose than if you were to take the medicine as a tablet or liquid by mouth. The airways and lungs are treated, but little of the medicine gets into the rest of the body.
The proper medicine name is called the generic name. Different drug companies can use the generic medicine and produce different brands – the proprietary medicine names. There are many different brands of inhalers. Inhalers can have generic names and be produced by different drug companies too. For some medicines there are different inhaler devices that deliver the same medicine. This means that there are many types of inhaler available on prescription, all of which are produced in different colours. This can be confusing.
Because there are lots of different-coloured inhalers available, it is helpful to remember their names, as well as the colour of the device. This might be important if you need to see a doctor who does not have your medical records – for example:
- If you are on holiday.
- Outside the normal opening hours of your GP surgery.
It might be helpful to keep a list of the names of your medicines and inhalers in your wallet or purse. This information will prevent mistakes and confusion.
In the treatment of asthma, the medicine inside inhalers can be grouped into relievers , preventers and long-acting bronchodilators.
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How Do You Take Asthma Medications
Asthma inhalers are the most common and effective way to deliver asthma medicine to your lungs. Theyâre available in several types that work in different ways. Some deliver one medication. Others contain two medications. Your doctor might give you:
- A metered-dose inhaler, which uses a small aerosol canister to push out a short burst of medication through a plastic mouthpiece
- A dry powder inhaler, which releases the medicine only when you take a deep breath
If youâre having trouble using small inhalers, your doctor may recommend a nebulizer. This machine changes asthma medications from a liquid to a mist so itâs easier to get the medicine into your lungs. It also has a mouthpiece or mask that makes it a good option for infants, small children, older adults, or anyone who has trouble using inhalers with spacers. It takes a few more minutes to use than an inhaler.
Heres Why Asthma Inhalers Are So Expensive
In 2013, the New York Times published an expose on the high price of asthma inhalers, in an article headlined The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath.
So whats happened in the 7 years since? Prices have only gotten worse.
A GoodRx analysis of cash prices for asthma inhalers shows that prices climbed about 35% from 2013 to 2018, from an average price of around $280 in 2013 to more than $380.
The average cash price for one inhaler of , a leading medication for asthma, increased from $316 in 2013 to $496 in 2018 a 56% increase. The average cash price for , another widely prescribed brand, increased 41% between 2013 and 2018, from $207 to $292.
The average inhaler price combines prices for 16 leading inhaler products. These numbers are based on a representative sample of prescription fills at U.S. pharmacies. They reflect overall U.S. prescriptions, not fills using GoodRx. The data comes from several sources including pharmacies and insurers and provides a representative sample of nationwide U.S. prescription drug volume.
Even worse, high costs for asthma disproportionately hit underinsured and uninsured individuals. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in some states as many as 20% of people with asthma do not have insurance and are forced to pay out of pocket for their inhalers. Even more, individuals lacking insurance tend to live in lower-income areas, which tend to have higher rates of asthma.
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Do I Need An Asthma Preventer
If you have asthma and find yourself needing to use your Ventolin reliever more than once a week, this suggests that Ventolin alone is insufficient in managing your condition. In these cases, it is likely that you will need a preventer inhaler in addition to Ventolin.
If your breathlessness is severe please attend your local A& E department straight away.
Keep Your Inhaler Clean
Look at the hole where the medicine sprays out of your inhaler. If you see powder in or around the hole, clean your inhaler. First, remove the metal canister from the L-shaped plastic mouthpiece. Rinse only the mouthpiece and cap in warm water. Let them air-dry overnight. In the morning, put the canister back inside. Put the cap on. Do not rinse any other parts.
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Helping Your Toddler To Use Their Inhaler
They may need to use a spacer with a facemask until theyre ready to use a spacer with a mouthpiece. Watch our video on helping your child to use a spacer with a facemask.
Your GP or asthma nurse will talk to you about which ones are right for your child at their yearly asthma review. If youre finding it hard to give your toddler their inhaler, you might want to try giving them rewards for taking the inhaler, so they feel more excited about it.
When Do I Take It
You need to take your preventer inhaler every day, as prescribed, even if you think your asthma is okay. This is so it can build up protection in your airways over time.
Most people need to take their preventer inhaler twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
Your GP or asthma nurse will tell you when you need to take yours and how many puffs to take. They can write this down in your asthma action plan.
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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
COPD is an obstructive lung disease due to long-term damage to the airways of the lungs. The long-term damage leads to the inability of the airways to open properly, causing airway obstruction. Inhaled medications allow patients to see improvement in symptoms and better function of daily living. Some commonly used inhaled medications in patient’s with COPD are ipratroprium, salmeterol, and corticosteroids.
What Are The Side Effects Of Bronchodilators
The side effects of bronchodilators vary according to which type you use.
Side effects of beta 2-agonists include:
- Nervous or shaky feelings.
- Trouble sleeping.
Some beta 2-agonists, including albuterol, are available as pills or syrups. You may have more side effects when you take these forms because theyre a higher dosage. You also absorb them through your bloodstream.
Side effects of anticholinergic drugs include:
- Dry throat, eyes and nose.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Temporary blurred vision if the medicine gets in your eyes.
Anticholinergic drugs may make it difficult to urinate . Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any conditions that affect your bladder. These conditions may include benign prostate enlargement , bladder stones or prostate cancer.
Side effects of theophylline include:
- Nausea and vomiting.
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Which Is The Best Inhaler Device To Use
This depends on various factors such as:
- Convenience. Some inhalers are small, can go easily in a pocket, and are quick to use. For example, the standard MDI inhaler.
- Your age. Children under the age of 6 years generally cannot use dry powder inhalers. This is because such a strong breath is needed to inhale the medicine within the inhaler. Children aged under 12 years generally cannot use standard MDI inhalers without a spacer. Some elderly people find the MDI inhalers difficult to use.
- Your co-ordination. Some devices need more co-ordination than others.
- Side-effects. Some of the inhaler medicine hits the back of the throat. Sometimes this can cause problems such as thrush in the mouth. This tends to be more of a problem with higher doses of steroid inhalers. Less medicine hits the throat when using a spacer device. Therefore, a spacer device may be advised if you get throat problems, or need a high dose of inhaled steroid.
Often the choice of inhaler is just personal preference. Most GPs and practice nurses have a range of devices to demonstrate, and let you get a feel for them. If you are unhappy with the one you are using then ask your GP or practice nurse if you can try a different type.
How to use the Yellow Card Scheme
If you think you have had a side-effect to one of your medicines you can report this on the Yellow Card Scheme. You can do this online at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
Additional Feature: Valved Holding Chamber
A valved holding chamber is a device that is placed on the mouthpiece of the metered-dose inhaler . It has a one-way valve that prevents you from breathing into the device. It can be used with a mouthpiece or facemask.
There are several advantages of using a valved holding chamber. You do not need to coordinate releasing the medication and breathing. You release the medication first. Then you breathe in. It also prevents medication from spraying directly into the back of your mouth and sticking there. Using this device can help get more medication into your lungs.2Figure 2. Metered dose inhaler with a valved holding chamber
To use the valved holding chamber with a metered dose inhaler:2,3
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