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How do I Determine the Appropriate Inhaler Dosage?

Article Details
  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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The most accurate way to determine the appropriate inhaler dosage for your needs is to talk with your doctor or follow the medication’s label instructions. The amount you will need to take will depend on the type of inhaler you are using and the severity of your symptoms. Some patients may take inhaler medication daily, while others may only use it in the case of an asthma attack.

If your doctor prescribes you an inhaled medication without specifying the exact inhaler dosage, you should generally follow the drug maker’s instructions for usage. Each medication may have a different dosage, so even if you have used an inhaler before, you should check the exact instructions for your new medication. If you are still in doubt, call your doctor for more information.

At some point, you may need to change your inhaler dosage, but it is important that you do not tweak the amount you take without first consulting your doctor. If your medication does not seem to be working properly, your health care provider may increase your dosage to a more appropriate amount. It is normal to alter the dosage one or more time before finding the right balance for each individual patient, so do not get discouraged if you don't get it the first time. You should be sure, however, to give your medication adequate time to take effect before assuming it is not working.

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It is also important that you do not take an inhaler dosage that is less than recommended. This could make the drug ineffective and cause symptoms to return or cause serious complications during an asthma attack. Before using your inhaler, be sure there is enough medication in the container to deliver a full dosage. You should also check to make sure there are no clogs and that the nozzle is clean, because these things would put you at risk for getting a lesser amount than needed.

Be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about any other medication or supplements you are taking so that he or she can accurately determine the correct inhaler dosage. You may also be instructed to take your inhaler medications at a different time than your others, except in the case of an asthma attack or other medical emergency. Be sure you and anyone you live with know where your inhaler is at all times.

You should also remember to check your inhaler after each use and wipe it clean of any medication that may have dripped on the outside. If available for your particular medication, there are newer types that are not harmful to the environment. These may be healthier for humans as well, although this has not been proven.

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