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Do you have Asthma?

As spring and the hayfever season are upon us, I thought it would be timely to look at asthma and specifically why it is so important to use a spacer with puffers.


Puffers are used for inhaled asthma reliever medications such as Ventolin and some of the preventer medications such as Symbicort, Seritide, Flixotide and Pulmicort (Preventers where you twist the preventer to crush the tablet and then inhale do not work through a spacer eg. Singulair). Hayfever or allergic rhinitis can exacerbate asthma symptoms as can having a virus such as the common cold. This can make you more sensitive to an asthma attack and therefore you should be more vigilant with any preventer medications and make sure that you are getting a full dose of both your preventer and your reliever.

Using a spacer means that more of the dosage reaches the lungs where it can have its therapeutic effect – rather than being sprayed on the back of the throat where it is wasted. Spacers are important at all ages, not just for children. According to Asthma Australia “Using a spacer with your reliever medicine in an asthma flare-up is as effective as or even better than using a nebuliser, and its faster and easier.”

According to the National Asthma Council Australia, spacers should be used by:

All children (children under 4-5 will need a face mask attached to the spacer)

All adults taking a preventer medication via a puffer (eg. Symbicort, Seritide, Flixotide and Pulmicort) (Preventers where you twist the preventer to crush the tablet and then inhale do not work through a spacer eg Singulair)

Adults who have trouble coordinating the ‘press and breathe’ technique when using a puffer

Anyone taking a reliever medication (eg Ventolin) during an asthma attack

See you doctor if you are using your reliever medication more than 2 x a week (other than before exercise)


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