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All Asthma Inhalers Need To Be Cleaned

8th June 2005

Asthma Foundation Warns That All Asthma Inhalers Need To Be Cleaned

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation welcomes Pharmac’s decision to continue to offer New Zealand asthma patients a choice of asthma relievers but warns that many New Zealanders may not have their condition under control because they are not cleaning their inhaler devices.

Foundation Executive Director, Jane Patterson said: `While the Foundation supports having as wide a choice of asthma medications as practicable, we are concerned that recent events suggest that many New Zealand asthma patients have not been cleaning their inhaler devices as recommended by the manufacturers. All salbutamol and other CFC-free inhalers should be regularly washed so that they can deliver the optimum dose of medicine. It appears that in some cases for years patients have not been washing their inhalers, which would contribute to the incidence of uncontrolled asthma.’

`Uncontrolled asthma is an under-recognised health problem that has significant impact on patients and their families. There is no cure, as yet, for asthma but it is a highly manageable condition if patients and healthcare professionals work together to control symptoms. The first step is to recognise the signs of uncontrolled asthma, which include needing to use a rescue inhaler more than three or four times a week.’

To help control asthma symptoms and severity, the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation advises everyone with asthma and every parent of a child with asthma to talk with their healthcare professional and follow an asthma management plan.

ENDS

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