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 learn more ways to save please see 90 Ways to Save on Your Prescription Drugs.