Doctors often prescribe aerosol inhalers to treat asthma, bronchitis, and lung diseases, including emphysema. Inhalers deliver medication directly to your lungs to relieve symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, a tight chest, and shortness of breath. But to get maximum benefit from the medication your doctor prescribes, you must use and care for the inhaler properly. In doing so, there are several factors to consider.
Other medications. Inform your doctor about any other medications – including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements, or herbal remedies – you may be taking. In some cases, interactions can occur; therefore, your doctor may need to adjust the dosage of the medication you use with an inhaler.
Pregnancy or a history of seizures, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, or kidney disease are additional factors your doctor will consider before prescribing the medication.
Side effects. Read the label on the inhaler packaging carefully so that you are aware of the medication's possible side effects. If you experience side effects other than the mild side effects listed, report them to your doctor.
While common side effects normally resolve with time as you develop tolerance, in some cases, medication can cause serious side effects that require immediate medical treatment. But unlike taking medication orally or by injection, inhaling medication usually requires a lower dose, which often causes fewer and less serious adverse side effects.
Instructions for use. Use the inhaler exactly as your doctor prescribes. Avoid using it more often than your doctor has instructed or suddenly stopping use. Instead, let you doctor know if your symptoms fail to improve or worsen with the use of an inhaler.
Allergic reaction. Do not use the inhaler if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the medication. If you don't know that you are allergic to a substance, the sudden onset of symptoms such as rash, hives, chest tightness or pain, difficulty breathing, and swelling of your hands, face, tongue, or lips can be signs of a serious allergic reaction.
Care. If you fail to keep the mouthpiece clean, a buildup of medication can block the mouthpiece, giving you inconsistent dosages.
Clean the mouthpiece by removing it from the medication canister – which you can't get wet – and wash it under warm, running water. Allow the mouthpiece to air dry completely before replacing the canister.
Storage. Store the inhaler in a dry place at room temperature, as exposure to extreme heat or cold can make the medication less effective. Likewise, keep it out of the sun and other direct sources of light; otherwise, the medicine in the canister can degrade or lose its potency. Any changes in the strength of the dose you are taking can affect how well the medication does its job.
If your doctor asks you to take prescription inhalation aerosols, make sure you understand his or her instructions.Share
9 June 2016
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