In order to benefit from your Ventolin inhaler, you need to know how to use it correctly.
You can use your inhaler as soon as you notice asthma symptoms.
If you would like to use it to prevent symptoms, you need to use Ventolin 10 to 15 minutes prior to exposure to an asthma trigger.
You can take one to two puffs, but you should not take more than two puffs at once, unless you are very breathless. You can take two puffs up to four times in any 24 hour period. If you need to take more than this amount, you should seek urgent medical advice.
When using your Ventolin inhaler, always take the following steps:
1. Make sure you stand or sit upright.
2. Remove the mouthpiece cover and make sure it is clean before you use it.
3. Shake the inhaler several times to ensure the liquid is mixed and you get the right amount of salbutamol with each puff.
4. Hold the inhaler upright. Your thumb should be at the base of the inhaler, just below the mouthpiece.
5. Breathe out first.
6. Then close your lips around the mouthpiece of the inhaler, making a tight seal with your lips. The mouthpiece should rest between your teeth, but do not bite the mouthpiece.
7. Begin breathing in and press down on the top of the inhaler. Continue breathing steadily and deeply as the inhaler releases a puff of medicine, then hold your breath for as long as you can comfortably do so, to allow the medication to get into your airways.
8. If you have been advised to take two puffs, wait about 30 seconds before repeating the process.
If you have difficulty with this process, your doctor can give you a “spacer”, a device which will help you inhale the medication more easily.
Always replace the mouthpiece cover immediately after use.
If you are using a new inhaler, or have not used it for 5 days or more, you should test the inhaler to check it is working. Remove the mouthpiece cover, shake the inhaler well and then, pointing the inhaler away from you, press the canister to release 1-2 puffs into the air. You should see a puff of medicine coming out. If nothing is released, your canister may be empty and will need replacing.