Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is using an expired inhaler bad?

Every day at MyAsthmaCentral.com we get lots of asthma related questions. Below are some questions I thought my readers at the RT Cave would enjoy.Your Question: can babies 9 weeks old have asthma

Your question: can you take advair and sprivia the same day

My humble answer: Absolutely. This medicine combination is used quite a bit for patients with lung disease, and they are proven safe and effective.

Your quesiton: I have mild asthma and my doctor thinks I should stop using Symbicort because he says I'm too dependent on it

My humble answer: Continue taking it. Symbicort is a very good medicine for controllilng asthma, and it's now recommended as a top line asthma therapy. It's very safe so long as you use it as prescribed. If you get worse when you stop taking it, that means it works for you and you should not quit taking it. If your doctor is a good asthma doctor he should have no problem with you taking a medicine that works so well for you. If he's worried about the safety of this medicine, check out this post.

Your question: Is using an expired inhaler bad?

My humble answer: Expired asthma medicines are still safe, although after a medicine has sat on the shelf a while it looses its efficacy. Ventolin is usually good for about a year, at which point the chemicals start to break down. I have used expired inhalers before, and most of the time they still work just fine for mild asthma. Yet if you're having an asthma exacerbation, an expired inhaler might not help you as well as a new inhaler would. Another problem with expired inhalers is the mist tents to taste like rotten mints (my opinion). I believe any pharmacist would recommend you throw your old inhalers out after a year and get new ones that are fully potent.

If you have any further questions email me, or Visit MyAsthmaCentral.com's Q&A section.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. I am in the "donut hole" on Medicare and inhalers are several hundred $ for one. My doctor gave me samples, but advised me that they were expired a few months, but my asthma is being aggravated by an infection. Thanks again

john bottrell said...

I believe all asthma medicines are still safe even when expired. While they become less potent over time, they may still work just fine. Good luck.