Posted: 03/17/2016

How to Choose the Right Asthma Inhaler

Asthma_inhalers

While asthma can’t be cured, its symptoms can be controlled through the proper use of inhaled medications. If you have recently been diagnosed with asthma, you’ll need to talk to your doctor to determine which type of inhaler and medicine to use. Below are some of the most common treatment options.

Dulera Metered-Dose Asthma Inhaler
A metered-dose inhaler (MDI) is the most commonly used kind of asthma inhaler. To use this type of inhaler, you’ll need to breathe in slowly while pressing down on the top of the device, which will deliver a dose of medicine through a propellant spray.

Metered-dose inhalers can be used with either long-acting or short-acting asthma medicines. Long-acting medicines are typically taken once or twice a day to help prevent asthma symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. These can include inhaled corticosteroids (e.g. Flovent, Azmacort, Beclovent), which help prevent airway swelling, and inhaled long-acting beta agonists (e.g. Serevent, Foradil), which help relax the smooth muscles of the airways. There are also long-acting asthma medicines that contain both a corticosteroid and beta agonist, such as Advair and Dulera.

Long-acting asthma medicines will not stop a sudden asthma attack, which is why it’s important to also carry a “rescue” inhaler with a short-acting asthma medicine. Metered-dose inhaler medicines that can be used for quick relief include short-acting beta agonists like Ventolin, Proventil, and Maxair.

Metered-Dose Inhaler with Spacer
One of the downsides of metered-dose inhalers is that they sometimes require you to coordinate your breathing with the release of the medicine, and medicine can end up on your tongue or the back of your throat if you don’t use the inhaler correctly. Fortunately, there’s an option for people who have trouble using a regular metered-dose inhaler: a spacer. This device is attached to a metered-dose inhaler to slow the delivery of the medicine, which makes it easy to coordinate your breathing and inhale the full dose.

Foradil Aerolizer Dry Powder Asthma Inhaler
A dry powder inhaler is an alternative to the metered-dose inhaler and doesn’t use chemical propellants to deliver asthma medicine. Examples include the Pulmicort Flexhaler, Foradil Aerolizer, and Spiriva Handihaler. You don’t need to coordinate your breathing with this type of inhaler because it is breath-activated, but you will need to breathe in quickly and deeply to get the correct dose. Accidentally breathing out to soon can cause some of the medicine to blow away.

Albuterol Solution for Asthma Nebulizer
A nebulizer is a special device that turns asthma medicine into a fine mist that is then breathed in through a mouthpiece. Because this type of device can be more cumbersome than a metered-dose or dry powder inhaler, it is typically only used by people who have trouble using other kinds of inhalers.

If you have never used an inhaler or nebulizer before, pay close attention to your doctor’s instructions to ensure that you are administering the correct dose each time. Your doctor may need to periodically adjust your dosage or even try different medicines in order to identify the best asthma inhaler or treatment for you. For discounts on many of these asthma medicines and inhalers, search our site!

By HelpRx Staff Writer

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality. Subscribe to the HelpRx.info pharmacy blog through our RSS feed or get updates by liking HelpRx.info on Facebook and following HelpRx.info on Twitter.

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Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

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Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

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