The Ventolin inhaler contains the active ingredient salbutamol. Salbutamol is the most common type of inhaler used to treat people with bronchial asthma, exercise induced asthma, allergic and non-allergic asthma.
It works by relaxing the walls of the small airways. This causes the airways to expand which lets more air in. It also stops spasms in the lungs.
Salbutamol is also available as a generic inhaler (without the brand name Ventolin).
If you have asthma you should always carry your inhaler with you – asthma attacks are unexpected by nature. Make sure you know how to use your inhaler and follow the prescription.
The medication in most asthma inhalers (like Ventolin and Salbutamol) lasts for between four and six hours. So it is safe to use your inhaler four to six times a day. If you have an asthma attack though, it is safe to use this medication a lot more regularly.
If you have an asthma attack at home, you can use your inhaler every 30 to 60 minutes for 2 to 3 hours and it is unlikely to cause you any harm - unless you know you have a serious heart condition. That said, you should only use your inhaler this frequently during an asthma attack. If you overuse it, you risk relieving the symptoms of your asthma, but making your condition worse.
Preventer inhalers work to soothe inflammation and agitation in the lungs and so reduce the number of asthma attacks you have. The active ingredient is usually inhaled corticosteroid. You should use a preventer inhaler if your asthma presents symptoms more than twice a week, if the symptoms wake you up at least once every seven days, or if you use your reliever inhaler more than twice a week. You have to use the preventer inhaler daily for quite a while to see an effect. Smoking will make the inhaler less effective.
You might still need to use the blue reliever inhaler too, but you should only need it every now and then. If you still seem to need to use the reliever inhaler a lot, you should review your treatment with a doctor.
Sometimes preventer inhalers can cause oral thrush in your mouth and throat. To prevent this, rinse your mouth out after you use your inhaler.
We offer the following preventer inhalers: