My HFA Inhaler is Broken!

Patients often bring in their inhalers and state, “This stupid inhaler is broken!”  I take a look at it and the funny thing is, I have yet to find an actually broken HFA inhaler.  I am sure there are some busted HFA inhalers out there but the real issue here -clogged HFA inhalers!

Yes, those inhalers NEED to be cleaned.  Most HFA inhalers should be cleaned WEEKLY.  When I tell people this their eyes usually bug out and they say, “Weekly???”

So the bad news is that it needs to be done weekly….the good news is that it is quite easy!  You just take the metal canister out (the canister holds the actual drug).  Then rinse the plastic inhaler with warm water for 30 seconds.  Allow it to air dry thoroughly before using it again.

It is really that simple -the plastic part of the inhaler gets clogged and needs to be rinsed.  It is good to clean it weekly even if you do not notice any problems because it is possible that you are not receiving as much of the medicine as you should.

Just a note here -with the change from the “old generic inhalers” to the new brand only HFA inhalers, the price has definitely increased!  For some help with prescription assistance call the American Lung Association Lung Helpline at 800-LUNG-USA (option 2).

If you would like to use our FREE Pharmacy Discount Card –CLICK HERE!


  1. If you think cleaning an HFA inhaler will make it more efficient you are delusional. Most users of HFA inhalers immediately and correctly realize that HFA is not the same medication than “the old generic CFC inhalers”.

    The core drugs are the same but there are new, unsafe additives. Furthermore, HFA inhalers were improperly tested and approved by overzealous, ambitious people who had selfish agendas and stood to gain fortunes. It is amazing how the EPA and FDA, along with IPAC hoodwinked and achieved approval in an unprecedented changeover. In the history of the US FDA this type of change for nonmedical reasons has “never” occurred.

    Ethanol is a sticky substance, if it clogs the inhaler so often-what do you think it does inside the lungs? Lung patients are now vulnerable to the dangerous side effects of Ethanol (HFA) laced inhalers.

    Of course with any new patented drug the drug company can charge enormous amounts of money. But cost should be the least of HFA inhaler users issues–if they use HFA inhalers long enough, they’ll pay so much in medical fees and emergencies rooms visits, it’ll make their head spin. I know—I’ve been suffering for almost two years –thanks to HFA inhalers.

  2. Well i had the same problem which is why I am on this site. My HFA inhaler would change in number wjen i press it..but nothing would come out. So i ran under warm water and dry it out. It started working again. O wish i google the problem sooner because had I did I would save 6 spray doses

  3. Its been 5 years and I still hate these HFA inhalers. They do not work as well. And they get clogged continually. I rinse mine out weekly and it still gets clogged. The one i have now i have rinsed out several times and it still does not work. I dont care about paying extra money what i care about is the product IS NOT AS GOOD. Were they really that many people with asthma that they had to get ride of the CFC inhalers that actually worked. Leave it to the EPA and the government to make things more expensive and less effective.

  4. Cleaning the dispenser still does not unclog it! I keep all the plastic dispensers after the medicine is gone so I have a backup when one gets clogged, but even running hot water through them, they are STILL clogged. There seems to be no way to clean them.

    And if they are cleaned daily, they do not dry soon enough for the next day’s application.

    The copay on this medicine is very expensive and I hate to waste it. Is there anyway to get extra plastic dispensers with this medicine for a backup?

  5. I just got my first ventolin inhaler and it said to prime it, which I did, but it doesn’t look like anything is coming out. Should I be able to see the ventolin come out? Do I have a dud? As I haven’t used one before, I really don’t know if it is working.

  6. Hi Kerrie, yes you should be able to tell it is coming out -by the feel and sound but also it typically has a mist that is released. The HFAs definitely have more “duds” within them then the old inhaler type. You can take back to pharmacy and ask them to test it & replace if necessary.

    Hope this helps!

  7. I cleaned my inhaler according to the directions, but now it’s working backwards: nothing comes out when I press down, but I get a little bit when I release it. My pharmacy won’t take it back because I got it 6 months ago. Anyone else have this happen to them?

  8. I am having the same issue with it clogging up. I tried rinsing it and did not get any good results-is there a way to get extra dispensers for this product. For the price we pay-I feel they should be available. I am just receiving a discounted price for this product. Not happy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *