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How do you know if there is enough medicine in your inhaler?

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Many new inhalers include a dose counter to show how much medication is left. It’s hard to tell with older models, most of which make a puff sound long after the medication is gone. This could be a serious problem if you need the inhaler and it’s empty.

The best way to tell how many doses remain is to mark the number of doses used on the inhaler and then toss it after you've used this number of puffs. You can find the total number of doses on the box or canister. Mark the date on your calendar when you expect to use all of the available puffs in the new inhaler, and replace it before then. Keep one or two extra quick-relief inhalers at home.

From: Asthma Inhalers WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Inhaled Medication with a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)."  Asthma Society of Canada: "How to Use Your Inhaler." Science Daily: "New Asthma Inhaler Propellant Effective, But Costlier."  American College of Chest Physicians: "Using Your MDI-Closed Mouth Technique, Patient Education Guide."  American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI): "Cumulative effects of formoterol administered by a dry powder inhaler;" "Inhalers;" and "Anti-inflammatory effects of inhaled steroids delivered by HFA-MDI vs delivery by dry powder inhaler." News release, Merck. Boehringer Ingelheim: "US FDA Expands Approval of Tiotropium Respimat® for Maintenance Treatment of Asthma in Children." FDA. Prescribing Information: Spiriva Respimat.







Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on August 6, 2017

SOURCES: National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Inhaled Medication with a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)."  Asthma Society of Canada: "How to Use Your Inhaler." Science Daily: "New Asthma Inhaler Propellant Effective, But Costlier."  American College of Chest Physicians: "Using Your MDI-Closed Mouth Technique, Patient Education Guide."  American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI): "Cumulative effects of formoterol administered by a dry powder inhaler;" "Inhalers;" and "Anti-inflammatory effects of inhaled steroids delivered by HFA-MDI vs delivery by dry powder inhaler." News release, Merck. Boehringer Ingelheim: "US FDA Expands Approval of Tiotropium Respimat® for Maintenance Treatment of Asthma in Children." FDA. Prescribing Information: Spiriva Respimat.







Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on August 6, 2017

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