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What method do you use with your control inhaler?

I've been dealing with the after-effects of an asthma flare after being around a diesel tractor plowing snow. I continue to have phlegm in my lower lobes in my lungs it feels like that doesn't really like to move. My question is does anyone else like to use ProAir or albuterol Etc before using their pulmicort or other control inhaler? I know it seems to help me so I can get the pulmicort in deeper. Thanks!


  1. Hi again, Eric, and thanks for this post - you've posed an interesting question.
    First, I am sorry to hear you've had this reaction to the diesel fumes - I would guess this may be one of your triggers. Perhaps if you are going to be exposed to those fumes again (and cannot avoid them, which would be best), you may want to try wearing a mask to reduce the effect of those fumes. What do you think?
    When it comes to using both rescue inhalers and maintenance metered dose inhalers (MDI's), too, there is a way to use them that is thought to be the most effective. I know that my colleague, John Bottrell, and I have discussed this elsewhere in the community - I just can't put me finger on it at this time.!
    You are right on track with your thoughts!
    It's generally considered to be a good idea to use the rescue inhaler first. Once administered, one should wait about 15 minutes or so and then use the maintenance inhaler.
    The rationale is the rescue inhaler will open up one's airways by being administered first. Once the airways are more relaxed, the maintenance inhaler is then administered. By doing it this way, the maintenance medication will be deposited deeper and more uniformly throughout the airway for absorption. This is considered to be the most effective way to use these medications together.
    So, your thoughts and methods are spot on!!
    Perhaps others in the community will see your inquiry and ideas and respond by sharing their own experiences.
    What do you think?
    Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

    1. HI. Sorry, you are experiencing symptoms due to fumes. As mentioned in his great response above, I do know there is an article on this topic, although I also cannot seem to find it. I did however find this (https://asthma.net/treatment/inhalers) article which you may find helpful. I also second everything else Leon said about the proper use of inhalers and why it is recommended this way. So, based on what you describe, your order of using your inhalers is correct. Wishing you all the best. John. asthma.net community moderator

      1. Thank you for responding to my post Leon and John! I was wondering in your experience is it best to use the ProAir before your maintenance inhaler all the time or just as long as you're recovering or seeming to have the wheezing problems and phlegm Etc then maybe discontinue the ProAir for a while after the symptoms subside until you need it again? I know usually when I'm not recovering from a flare or the air is decent I don't seem to have that bad of symptoms so am I correct in thinking I wouldn't really need to ProAir then or is it more of personal preference? Thank you again.


        1. Hi again, Eric - based on our conversation, that is what I 'thought' you might be doing. That would seem to be the prudent approach.
          I thought this would definitely be something to discuss with your physician - glad to hear this is what you plan to do.
          I will wish you 'good luck!' with your appointment on Monday and ask that you please check back and let us know how that appointment works out for you.
          Warm regards,
          Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

        2. , Of course, the ultimate goal of asthma maintenance medicine is to help you obtain good enough control of your asthma that you do not need to use your rescue medicine as much. Although, since all of us asthmatics are different, some of us still continue to benefit from using rescue medicine daily, as you describe. So, it will be neat to hear what strategy your doctor recommends. Please do keep us posted. Wishing yo all the best. John. asthma.net community moderator

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