RAG rating
Document type
Patient information
Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB
Output type
Pharmacy / Prescribing

Inhaler reliever

What should I do if I need to use my reliever inhaler often for my asthma?

If you need to use your reliever inhaler for three or more days each week, then it may be a sign that your asthma is not well controlled.

Continue to use your reliever inhaler when you need it, and make a routine appointment at the GP surgery, so we can see if there is anything we can do to help you.

What can I also do to help myself?

  • Make sure you use your preventer (treatment) inhaler every day even if you don’t have any symptoms. This should reduce how much you need to use your reliever inhaler.
  • Look at your inhaler dose counter, if it has one, or think about ways to help you remember to use your inhaler.
  • Check that you are using your inhaler correctly so that you get all the benefits from using your inhaler. You can read a leaflet or watch a video on how to use your inhaler. [Insert link to inhaler videos and leaflets]
  • Follow your asthma action plan, which tells you what to do when your asthma symptoms are getting worse.


What is a preventer (treatment) inhaler?

Preventer (treatment) inhalers contain medicines that reduce any swelling or inflammation in your lungs making it easier to breathe.

They shield you from your asthma triggers.

Preventer inhalers should be taken every day as instructed on the label from your pharmacy.

Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you are concerned about using an inhaler every day.


What is a reliever inhaler?

Reliever inhalers work quickly when you have symptoms like difficulty breathing, wheezing or coughing.

They contain a medicine that relaxes the muscles in your lungs and so opens your airways. This makes it easier to breathe and stops you from wheezing or coughing

Version number
Developed by
Approved by
Date approved / updated
November 2022
Review date
The recommendation is based upon the evidence available at the time of publication. This recommendation will be reviewed upon request in the light of new evidence becoming available.
Superseded version