What is Ventolin?
Ventolin is a blue inhaler that contains the ingredient Salbutamol. It works by opening up the airways, relieving the symptoms of asthma such as breathlessness, wheeze or tight chest. It is therefore known as a "reliever".
What is the difference between Ventolin and Salbutamol?
Ventolin contains the active ingredient Salbutamol. It contains 100 micrograms of Salbutamol per dose. Any other preparation that delivers 100 micrograms per dose in an inhaler form is medicinally the same as Ventolin. Some examples include Salamol and Airsalb. Whilst the inhalers may differ slightly in appearance, they all work in exactly the same way.
How does Ventolin work?
Ventolin works by opening up the airways allowing air into the lungs. Ventolin contains the active ingredient Salbutamol. Salbutamol acts on receptors in the in the airways, known as beta 2 receptors, which cause the muscles in the airways to relax an widen. The opening of the airways by salbutamol makes it easier to breath.
How long does Ventolin take to work?
You should notice that your breathing is starting to improve almost immediately. After around 5-15 minutes, you should be breathing much easier. If you notice that no improvements have been made or your symptoms are getting worse, seek urgent medical attention.
When should I use Ventolin?
You should use Ventolin when you experience asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath and tightness of the chest. The Ventolin inhaler will work to provide almost immediate relief. it is important that you keep your inhaler with you at all times in case your asthma gets worse at some point.
How do I use Ventolin?
Before you use Ventolin for the first time, it is important to prime your inhaler. This will ensure that the correct amount of medicine is delivered to you when you begin to use it.
Priming (before using the inhaler)
- Take the cap off the inhaler and shake it well.
- Position the inhaler away from your face and press down fully twice, releasing two sprays
- If you have not used your inhaler for 5 days or more, repeat this process
Steps on how to use Ventolin
- Ensure that you are standing or sitting in an upright position
- Remove the mouthpiece and check the inhaler is free from any objects or dust particles
- Shake the inhaler 4-5 times to ensure any loose objects are removed and that the medicine is mixed evenly
- Position your thumb on the base of the inhaler and your index finger on the top of the canister
- Breathe out gently and hold
- Place the mouthpiece of the inhaler in your mouth in between your teeth, making a tight seal around it with your lips. Do not bite
- Breathe in through your mouth with your lips still sealed tightly around the mouthpiece and as you begin to breathe in, press the top of the canister with your index finger that is positioned there
- Breathe in gently and deeply
- Hold your breath for as long as it is comfortable and breathe out slowly
- If you have been instructed to use two sprays, repeat this process after 30 seconds
- Remember to place the cap over the mouthpiece ensuring that in clicks into place
What to remember when using Ventolin
- Shake the inhaler before use to ensure the medication is mixed evenly
- If you see mist coming out from your mouth or the side of the inhaler, you should try again
- Breathe out first to create more space in your airways for when you inhale the Ventolin on your next breath in
- Breathing in deeply and slowly will help give the medication a high chance of reaching as deep inside the lungs as possible, making it more effective
- Holding your breath once the dose has been delivered allows more time for the medication to reach your lungs
- Press the canister just after you start breathing in to ensure the medication is delivered effectively. Breathing in too early or late will result in the medication being sprayed into your mouth and throat, without the correct amount reaching your lungs
- Shake the inhaler before use and in between puffs. This allows the medication and the propellant (substance that turns the liquid medication into an aerosol form) to mix together well. Not shaking properly before use may mean that you receive too little or too much of the medication
- In between doses, shake the inhaler and leave enough time for the medication and propellant to mix well
How do I clean my Ventolin inhaler?
It is recommended to clean your Ventolin inhaler once a week. This stops it from jamming.
To clean your inhaler, you should:
- Remove the metal canister from the blue plastic case and take the mouthpiece cover off
- Rinse the plastic case under warm running water
- Dry the casing thoroughly both inside and out
- Replace the metal canister into the dry casing and put the mouthpiece cover back on
- Do not place the metal canister under water. This does not need washing
When should I see my doctor?
Make an appointment to see your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you are needing your Ventolin inhaler:
- More than 3 times a week
- More than 2 days of the week
- More than 4 times in 24 hours
- In the middle of the night at least once a week
You should also make an appointment if your inhaler doesn't seem to be working and asthma symptoms are getting worse