An urgent warning to millions of asthmatics over concerns that people are using BAD inhalers

More than 5.4 million people in the UK live with asthma.

And today they are warned that they could use the wrong inhaler, which could end up in the hospital.

Asthma is a common condition of the lungs that causes symptoms such as coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath.

People with this condition usually receive a preventive inhaler (brown) and a relief inhaler (blue).

It is best controlled by regular use of a preventive inhaler called a corticosteroid inhaler, which reduces the risk of asthma symptoms and attacks.

The relief inhaler is used to stop symptoms when they occur and is known as the “SABA” (short-acting beta-agonist) inhaler.

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Research has already shown that it is common for people with asthma to use their relief inhaler too often.

This is defined as six or more recipes per year.

Relying on a relief inhaler rather than using corticosteroids to prevent symptoms is associated with poor asthma control and an increased risk of severe asthma attacks and hospitalizations.

According to The National Review of Asthma Deaths in 2014, excessive use of relief inhalers has been identified as a common feature in people who have died of the disease.

Researchers at Queen Mary’s Clinical Effectiveness Group (CEG) wanted to find out if this contributes to a higher number of asthma hospitalizations in East London.

The number of hospitalizations is 14 percent above the national average.

The team analyzed over 700,000 anonymized medical records in 117 GP surgeries in East London.

They found that 26 percent of asthma patients were still prescribed SABA inhalers.

A quarter of this group also underutilized preventive inhalers.

GPs in some areas over-prescribe up to 60 percent of their patients.

Anna De Simoni, lead author and general practitioner and primary care clinician at Queen Mary University of London, said there was “considerable room for improvement”.

“Working with patients to improve the regular preventive use of inhalers should be essential to reducing asthma-related hospitalizations,” said Dr. De Simoni.

“We have calculated that helping patients who use more than 12 SABA inhalers a year to reduce their use to 4-12 can result in 70 percent fewer asthma-related hospitalizations in this group.

“There is also a need to provide GPs and pharmacists with the right tools to support patients.”

Paul Pfeffer, co-author and respirator consultant with a special interest in asthma at the Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “There is still a heavy burden of inappropriate and dangerous overuse of rescue inhalers in asthma.

“Our document highlights the complexity of the problem with the many reasons why SABA inhalers are over-prescribed to patients.

“The results call for a more detailed examination of interventions to reduce SABA overuse in different patient groups.”

Are you using the right inhaler?

Almost everyone with asthma receives a prophylactic inhaler.

The NHS says: “Tell your GP or asthma nurse if you need to use your relief inhaler three or more times a week. They may suggest further treatment such as a B. preventive inhaler. ”

According to Asthma UK & Lung, using a preventive inhaler more than three times a week is a sign that your condition is out of control.

It says: ‘You only use it if your symptoms get worse or you have an asthma attack. Your relief inhaler treats your asthma symptoms quickly when they appear.

“If you use your relief inhaler regularly and rely on it to manage your symptoms, you have a higher risk of an asthma attack.

“It ‘s because your reliever doesn’t cure the underlying inflammation in your airways.

“Talk to your asthma practitioner or nurse and talk to them about how to better manage your asthma with a good preventive inhalation routine.”

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