You should use your Ventolin inhaler as soon as you notice asthma symptoms, like:
- chest tightness
If you have exercise-induced asthma or know that certain substances (such as animal hair, dust or pollen) trigger your asthma, you can use your Ventolin inhaler 10 to 15 minutes before preventing symptoms, if your doctor has recommended you use your inhaler in this way.
Always follow these steps when using your Ventolin inhaler:
- Stand or sit upright.
- Remove the mouthpiece cover and make sure it is clean before you use it.
- Shake the inhaler several times to ensure the liquid is mixed, and you get the right amount of salbutamol with each puff.
- If it is a new inhaler or you haven’t used it for 5 days or more, make sure it is still working by pressing the canister to release 1 or 2 puffs into the air. If you cannot see a puff of the medicine in the air, the canister may be empty.
- Hold the inhaler upright. Your thumb should be at the base of the inhaler, just below the mouthpiece.
- Breathe out.
- Close your lips around the mouthpiece of the inhaler to make a tight seal. The mouthpiece should rest between your teeth. Do not bite the mouthpiece.
- Begin breathing in and press down on the top of the inhaler. Continue breathing in steadily and deeply as the inhaler releases a puff of medicine.
- Hold your breath for as long as you can comfortably do so. This allows the medication to get into your airways.
- If you have been advised to take two puffs, wait about 30 seconds before repeating the process.
- Always replace the mouthpiece cover immediately after use.
If you have difficulty breathing while using the inhaler, talk to your doctor about using a ‘spacer’. This will help you inhale the medication more easily.
How quickly does Ventolin work?
Ventolin should start relieving symptoms within 5 minutes of using the inhaler.
How often can you take Ventolin?
Your doctor will advise you on how many puffs you should take.
You can take 2 puffs up to a maximum of 4 times in any 24 hour period. If you need to take more than this amount, you should seek urgent medical advice as you may be having a severe asthma attack, which can suddenly become worse.
For some people, 1 puff may be enough to relieve the symptoms. Whether you take 1 puff or 2 puffs, you should only use your inhaler 4 times in any 24 hour period. If you need it more than this, you must seek urgent medical advice.
You should see your doctor if you need to use your inhaler more than:
- 4 times in 24 hours, in which case you need urgent medical advice
- 2 days a week, or in the middle of the night at least once a week
These symptoms indicate that your asthma is not well-controlled, and that you might benefit from other medications and advice.
How many puffs of Ventolin is safe?
The recommended maximum dosage for Ventolin is 8 puffs in a day. If you need more than this, a doctor needs to review you. But, if you have severe symptoms such as an asthma attack, you can safely take up to 10 puffs, with 30 seconds between each puff. You can then repeat this 10 minutes later.
Always shake the inhaler between each session of 10 puffs. This may help in the event of a severe attack, and if you are needing to take 10 puffs, you must call for help and medical advice immediately.
How long will my Ventolin inhaler last?
Each inhaler contains 200 puffs. If you take the maximum dose of 8 puffs per day, one inhaler will last you 25 days.