Using Ventolin HFA While On Dulera
In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses how to properly use Ventolin HFA and Dulera Together.
I took 2 puffs of Ventolin HFA at 6 pm. Is it okay to take my Dulera maintenance dose of 1 puff at my regular 7 Pm time? Will the Dulera still work as effectively?
Ventolin HFA (albuterol) is indicated for the immediate relief of acute respiratory symptoms. Dulera (formoterol/mometasone) is considered a controller medication that is indicated for maintenance treatment of asthma. These types of medications are commonly prescribed together and should still work even when given together.
Albuterol is known as a short-acting beta agonist (SABA) that stimulates predominantly stimulates smooth muscle activity in the lungs. Albuterol starts working within 5-15 minutes after oral inhalation. The peak effect takes about 30 minutes to 2 hours and the duration is about 2-6 hours for each dose. Albuterol inhalers and nebulizers are often prescribed “as needed” for acute bronchospasm, asthma, COPD, and other breathing related conditions. Dosing can be repeated every 4-6 hours if needed. The maximum FDA approved dose is 12 puffs daily.
Dulera contains two ingredients, a long-acting beta agonist (LABA) with formoterol and an inhaled corticosteroid with mometasone. This medication should only be used for maintenance therapy, not as treatment for an acute attack. Dulera provides protection against respiratory attacks throughout the day and reduces the risk of having asthma symptoms or COPD exacerbations. The peak effect of Dulera usually takes about 1-2 hours, but has a much longer half-life than albuterol at 9-11 hours. It is important to take Dulera twice daily approximately 12 hours apart.
Using Inhaler technique is extremely important when using inhalers such as Ventolin and Dulera. It is important to use each inhaler exactly as described in the package information in order to receive the most benefit. Because Dulera contains a corticosteroid, it is important to rinse your mouth after each dose to avoid thrush of the mouth and throat.
While these medications can be taken together, if the rescue albuterol inhaler is being used on a regular basis every day, it may be important to discuss with your physician about updating your therapy. Because both of these medications are beta agonists, an increase in side effects is possible if both are frequently taken together.