Medications (Adult asthma)

1) Introduction to treatments

Blue inhalerBrown inhalerMedications and pillsblue inhaler with spacer

Inhaled medicines are used to help treat symptoms of asthma. Inhalers come in all different styles, shapes and sizes. They may be aerosol inhalers or single dose capsules loaded into an inhaler device. See A practical guide to inhalers for more information.

Some people when using inhalers may be advised to use a spacer device. This is a plastic balloon like container which your inhaler fits on to. You shake your inhaler, attach it to the spacer and as normal breathe out. Place your lips around the spacer mouthpiece, and spray the inhaler into the spacer using your recommended number of “puffs”. You can then take several breaths to get all of the inhaler medication in to your lungs. This is useful for people who have poor hand coordination or who find it difficult to coordinate the single inhaled breath and the use of the inhaler at the same time. Take care to use the spacer and inhaler as instructed by your health care team.

Not all medication is taken by inhalation there are also tablets, oral steroids or antibiotics.

Understanding and using your medicines and inhalers is one key part for self managing your asthma effectively. If you are not sure about any aspect of your medication, speak to your health care professionals who can help