The medical condition and the way you use your accuhaler depends upon the drug contained within it. These devices are generally used to treat conditions affecting your breathing and your lungs.
Common accuhalers in use in Singapore include: Seretide® accuhaler and Ventolin® accuhaler. The drugs contained within different accuhalers are different. Please check which you have been supplied.
A bronchodilator is a drug used to open the airways of the lungs to treat symptoms of airway constriction for instance, asthma. Examples include salbutamol (short acting) (as found in the Ventolin® accuhaler) and salmeterol (longer acting) (found in Seretide® accuhaler).
A corticosteroid works by reducing swelling and inflammation in the airways. An example is fluticasone (found in the Seretide® accuhaler).
Ventolin® accuhaler contains only salbutamol. It is used to relieve symptoms of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Seretide® accuhaler contains both salmeterol and fluticasone propionate. Similarly Seretide® accuhaler is used in the treatment of both asthma and COPD. Compared to Ventolin® accuhaler, Seretide® accuhaler is used more commonly for a preventative role in these conditions and should be used daily.
Side effects such as tremor, palpitations and headaches have been occasionally reported but tend to reduce with long term use, if side effects occur, consult your doctor.
Allergic reaction: on rare occasions a person may be allergic to the drug contained within the accuhaler. If you experience any of the following symptoms: sudden breathing difficulty, wheeze, shortness of breath, swelling of the face, lips tongue or throat, palpitations / altered heart rate, faint or light-headedness, please consult your doctor immediately.
Other less common side effects have been reported with these drugs. If you have concerns please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Both Ventolin® and Seretide® accuhaler contain lactose which contains milk protein. If you have a milk allergy or a history of hypersensitivity / allergy to any of the ingredients in the accuhaler please inform your doctor.
If you are breast feeding or pregnant, or plan on getting pregnant, please consult your doctor.
Some medication may affect the drug within the accuhaler or the condition it is used to treat. Inform your doctor if you are taking or intend to start any other medication, including herbal or traditional Chinese medications or over the counter medication.
The accuhaler releases a powder which is inhaled into the lungs.
The device is opened and primed by sliding the lever on the side of the accuhaler. Only slide the lever when you are ready to take a dose. Do not exceed the dose recommended by your doctor.
There is a dose indicator on the side of the accuhaler which indicates the number of doses left in the device. Before your accuhaler is empty please ensure you obtain further supply of the preparation.
Remember to always load a dose before using the accuhaler. The accuhaler should be held horizontally during administration. You need to inhaler strongly enough to draw medication from the accuhaler into your lungs and remember to hold your breath long enough after inhalation (up to 10 seconds or as long as comfortable) to ensure an adequate dose reaches your lungs.
Seretide® accuhaler must be used regularly for optimum benefit, even if you do not have symptoms. Do not stop taking your Seretide® accuhaler abruptly. For Seretide® accuhaler rinse your mouth out with water after your dose. This will help relieve hoarseness and reduce the incidence of a fungal infection of the mouth called candidiasis which may occur with the use of this preparation. You should still have your reliever medication available at all times.
Whether you are using either the Ventolin® or the Seretide® accuhaler, consult your doctor immediately if symptoms persist, you experience worsening of symptoms, or a previously effective dose of the preparation fails to adequately alleviate your symptoms; despite the use of your accuhaler.
Speak to you pharmacist, nurse of doctor if you experience problems using your accuhaler.
For Ventolin® accuhaler; take the next dose as soon as your remember unless it is close to the time for your next dose in which case skip the dose and take the following dose at the regular time. Do not exceed the dose recommended by your doctor, do not double your dose.
For Seretide® accuhaler take your next dose at the regular time. Do not exceed the dose recommended by your doctor, do not double your dose.
Consult your doctor immediately if you accidentally exceed the recommended dose.
Keep the accuhaler closed when not in use and never breathe into your accuhaler as moisture can cause the device to become clogged.
Wipe the mouthpiece of the accuhaler with a dry tissue to clean it.
If required, contact your pharmacy for safe disposal of medication.
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