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There are various different types of asthma inhalers. They contain different types of medication, to provide fast relief or long-acting prevention of asthma symptoms. Asthma inhalers also have different mechanisms. While some require you to pump, others are breath-activated. Whichever asthma inhaler you are using, you must make sure you understand how it works.
Use our fast and convenient service to order the prescription for your asthma inhaler online.
Fill in our brief questionnaire to let our doctor know which inhaler you are using. Our doctor will make sure it is safe for you to continue your treatment before issuing a prescription. Please note, that we can only treat patients who have been using an asthma inhaler for at least 3 months.
Prescriptions for urgent treatment can be delivered by Pharmacy Collect, usually within an hour. Or you can choose for your prescription to be delivered to your address. Prescriptions can be used at a pharmacy of your choice.
A consultation for asthma treatment costs €20.
Asthma inhalers come in various colours and shapes for different uses. Each colour indicates a different type of medication. The famous blue inhaler (Ventolin) for example contains Salbutamol to treat acute asthma symptoms.
There are three types of asthma inhalers that use different mechanisms to release the medication. These include metered-dose inhalers (MDIs), MDIs with a spacer, which gives more time to inhale the drug, and dry-powder inhalers – also known as breath-activated inhalers.
The most common asthma inhalers are the brown inhaler (for prevention) and the blue inhaler (for attacks of asthma and/or prevention).
The standard metered-dose inhaler includes the blue inhaler (e.g. Ventolin) and has been used for several decades. It consists of a small can fitted into a plastic body with a mouthpiece. Each time you press the canister into the boot, one dose of drug is released. You need to press and inhale the medication. This type of inhaler is also known as an evohaler.
Although this is the most commonly used inhaler, the MDI is often used incorrectly. Patients often forget to shake it before pressing, inhale at the wrong time or forget to hold their breath after inhalation.
Metered-dose inhalers that come with a spacer make it easier to inhale the correct dose. The spacer is an oval plastic container. On one end you insert your MDI and on the other end there is a mouthpiece.
It means that you first release the medication into the spacer and then inhale it slowly from the plastic container through the mouthpiece. this delivers the dose straight to your lungs. The MDI with a spacer is particularly useful for people - and children with asthma – who lack the coordination skills to use the metered-dose inhaler correctly.
The spacer should be washed and cleaned regularly as your saliva can make its walls sticky and prevent the medicine from flowing smoothly from one end to the other. The spacer is also known as a chamber, depending on the brand you use.
This kind of inhaler contains dry-powder. You do not need to pump or press for the medication to be released. All you need to do is take a deep breath which will make you inhale a single dose. There are different types of dry powder asthma inhalers and they usually rely on a manual mechanism to release one dose of the powder into the mouthpiece prior to the inhalation.
The most common dry powder inhalers are the turbohaler and the diskhaler. For both systems, you have to turn or twist the body until a “click” sound signals that a dose has been released and is ready to be inhaled.
This is the most common group of inhalers (also called reliever inhalers) which contain bronchodilator drugs (usually salbutamol). Bronchodilator simply means that the drug allows the airways in your lungs to dilate and let more air in.
Blue inhalers are great short-acting treatments: they can relieve the symptoms of an asthma attack within minutes. They are also commonly used as a long-term treatment, following a specific prescription; e.g. 2-3 doses a day for a certain period of time (at least several months).
The brown inhaler (sometimes also red) is a prevention treatment to be taken every day. It contains steroids that reduce the inflammation in your lungs. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, your doctor might prescribe you more or less frequent doses.
An average treatment with the brown inhaler consists of about two doses per day, to be taken for several months. Note that it can take somewhere between 2-6 weeks for the medication to be fully effective, so this is definitely a long-term treatment that can’t be used to relieve the symptoms of an attack.
On the upside, if you correctly follow your prescription, you may not need to use any inhaler later on in your life. However, note that just as with the blue inhaler, early treatment with the brown inhaler is crucial to get rid of asthma.
These are less common and come in a different colour, as they're usually green inhalers. They also belong to the class of bronchodilators and they are effective for up to 12 hours. Salmeterol is one of the most common long-acting bronchodilators, along with Formoterol. In some cases, preventive treatments combine long-acting bronchodilators with steroids, for instance if your symptoms are particularly difficult to control. Some of these combined treatments come as purple inhalers.
The idea with all these colours is to help you choose the right one when you’re experiencing an attack, rather than having to recognise the name of the medication on the inhaler. When you need immediate relief from your symptoms – from breathlessness to acute asthma attack – always go for the blue or purple inhaler.
If you have a question about this service, please email [email protected] with the question, and one of our doctors will get back to you within 24 hours.
If you need your medication urgently, choose DrEd's Pharmacy Collect service. This service is available between 9am and 4pm Monday - Friday. Orders placed outside of these hours will be processed the next working day. First, our doctors will review your treatment and approve if appropriate. We will then send an advanced notification of your prescription to a pharmacy of your choice. We aim to do this within an hour.
If your chosen pharmacy is unable to fulfil your prescription, we will get in touch with you to arrange alternative collection arrangements.
You can choose for your paper prescription to be delivered to your address. This takes 3-5 working days.
Complete a fast and simple online health questionnaire
Doctor reviews your suitability and if appropriate issues your prescription
We’ll send urgent scripts fast to any Irish pharmacy or the paper script to your address
You can complete one of our online assessments at any time, whenever it suits you. It’s as easy as 1,2,3.
We want to make it easier and more affordable for you to access the healthcare you need.
Orders placed before 4pm will be dispatched the same day.
Delivered to your chosen address within 3-5 working days.
For urgent orders, delivered to your chosen pharmacy from 1 hour of placing your order if placed Mon-Fri 9am-4pm.
Your prescription will be delivered in plain, unlabeled packaging