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Asthma inhaler


Because of an infection my general practicioner just gave me the asthma inhaler Salbuhexal®.

Now I feel a bit uncertain because I have never heard that in connection with CF and because I am not sure to what extent a general practitioner is competent with regards to CF related questions.

Can I use the inhaler without concerns?

The inhaler contains a substance (Salbutamol, a Betamimetic) that is often used to extend the bronchia, typically in case of asthma or an asthmatic reaction of the bronchia which can also occur in CF. Usually a before-and-after comparison is done by a lung function test (a so called Bronchodilatation
test) if the FEV1 (capacity of seconds) can be improved by medication. If so, such a bronchia extending (broncholytic) therapy makes sense. If necessary one could use substances in a regulary therapy (not only occasional) that are effective for a longer period of time since Salbutamol is only effective for a few hours. That means: If you really need it, then you have to use it about every 4 to 6 hours. The newer Betamimetics are effective for between 12 and 16 hours so that they have to be taken only twice a day usually.
Generally speaking general practicioners should be asked for and should accustom themselves to discuss all essential changes in therapy – and I would say the prescription of such an inhaler is one – with the CF ambulance; as the case may be you could also discuss that with the ambulance yourself.

Best regards,
Prof. Dr. TOF Wagner