Using Your Rescue Inhaler For Asthma

If you've been diagnosed with asthma, then one of the treatments your doctor is likely to prescribe is a rescue inhaler. This medication is not meant to be taken daily or on any sort of regular basis. Rather, it is meant to be taken when you are already suffering from an asthma attack and need relief.

Keep a rescue inhaler with you at all times.

You can't use your rescue inhaler if it's not with you. So, make sure you have one with you at all times. Keep one in your purse, another in your desk at work, and another in your bathroom cabinet. If you only have one rescue inhaler right now, call your doctor or pharmacist and ask if you can pick up a couple more. Even if this is not what you were originally prescribed, some doctors can prescribe you another couple of inhalers so you can keep them accessible.

Use the inhaler early.

Don't wait until you are in full-blown asthma attack mode. As soon as you start to feel that familiar itchiness in your throat and think you might be on the verge of an attack, use the inhaler. It's more effective when used early on in this manner and can keep your attack from getting to the point that you struggle to breathe.

Rest and relax after using your inhaler.

After using your rescue inhaler, you should immediately notice a slight relaxation and opening of your airways. But it can take up to 20 minutes for the medication to take its full effect. Sit down or lie down, and remain calm for the duration of these 20 minutes. Do not resume physical activity until you feel like you can breathe normally again.

Be aware of side effects.

Rescue inhalers can cause side effects including a feeling of shakiness and an elevated heart rate. If you feel like this after using your inhaler, there's no reason to be concerned. This is a normal reaction, and you should feel better within a half hour or so. 

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to use your rescue inhaler for prompt asthma treatment. If you are having to use your inhaler more than a couple of times per week, bring this to your doctor's attention. You may also need to take preventative allergy medication to reduce the frequency of your asthma attacks. 

For additional information, contact an asthma treatment provider.