Navigation

How Are Nebulizers Different From Inhalers?

How is a neb different from any kind of inhaler? Does it work better when the inhalers fail?

10
434

Comments 10

  • Kathy P

    That's a really good question!

    Nebulizers are a good option to try for anyone who has trouble using an inhaler or if inhalers aren't working well. If an inhaler is not working, it's good to look at technique to make sure that is optimal. Things like standing or sitting up straight, using a spacer or holding chamber, etc. This page has a great .

    Not all of the "combo" type controller medicines are available for nebulizer though. 

  • Shea

    In my experience, when I am having a big attack I will use my inhalers and still be having the attack, and be struggling to get breaths in. Then I will use my nebulizer (which has the same medicines my inhalers do) and it feels it goes deeper into my lungs and is a longer treatment time, and it will clear things up and I avoid the hospital.

    One example happened on the 4th of July a while ago, I was near people doing sparklers and it hit me hard all at once. I ised my inhalers but I was pretty panicky because they werent working and my neb was at home (this was before I had portable nebulizer machine). I had my dad drive me home right away to try the neb, the hospital is near my house so if it didnt work I was going to go there. I used the inhaler on the ride a second time still didnt help. 25 minutes later I was at my house really scared, started my neb and within minutes was feeling so much relief and by the end of it felt back to normal. 

    When my asthma was really bad the first few years, inhalers I had tried made me break out but the nebs did not and they worked better for me. Any time I have a big flare up I tend to go to nebs until I am through it (a lot of times I will need an oral prednisone boost and taper too). But since I have been in my new home, and found the flonase inhaler that doesn't have bad side effects for me, i have been able to use it and combivent inhaler and do not need the nebs regularly. 

  • LK
    Shea posted:

    In my experience, when I am having a big attack I will use my inhalers and still be having the attack, and be struggling to get breaths in. Then I will use my nebulizer (which has the same medicines my inhalers do) and it feels it goes deeper into my lungs and is a longer treatment time, and it will clear things up.

    I have the same experience of when my inhaler isn't working top open up my lungs I go to the nebulizer and it helps immediately.  Albuterol in both.

  • LK

    I will add that I used to put off using my nebulizer even when I really needed it.  It was partly that I kept hoping my rescue inhaler would help more than it was, partly that I hadn't used my nebulizer enough to feel comfortable using it, partly that I didn't want to believe that I was breathing poorly enough that I needed the nebulizer and partly that I didn't like how the nebulized albuterol made me shakier and made my heart race more than the inhaler.  Probably a few more "parts" that I haven't thought of yet!   

    I have come to realize that at times it is very necessary to use my neb in place of my rescue inhaler in order to improve my breathing.  The unwanted side effects are worth putting up with to open up my airways so I can BREATHE.  

  • Deborah Bartlett

    I use my nebulizer in a breathing "emergency", to avoid the ER. If I don't have enough strenfthbin my lungs to take a puff, then I can use an Albuterol ampule in the nebulizer .Doctors orders!!! I also nebulizer my Budesonide ampules as 1 of my maintenance medications. It actually prevents me from getting thrush, which for me had been out of control.

  • LK

    I should say that, as Deborah mentions above, my routine is per my pulmo's orders.

  • dory2005

    I use my nebs every day (levoalbuterol and budesonide) twice a day as maintenance and then levoalbuterol every four hours as needed per my pulmo. (It doesn't make my heart race as much as the regular nebulized albuterol.)  When I was hospitalized several years ago, I developed atelectasis in both lower lobes, so nebs work better for me (still have mild chronic atelectasis in both lower lobes). I do use Spiriva Respimat 2.5 mcg and Advair Diskus 500/50. I have a rescue inhaler, but I don't use it very often since I use my nebs daily. 

  • Gurmit Gill

    Nebulizer is a good option for any patient with Asthma COPD. 

    Give you medicine at least 10 X a min for at least 5 min. So lot more med go in lungs. 

    Inhaler is only one or two and may not reach everywhere. 

    Many patient despite knowing how to use don’t do inhalers correctly 

    nebulizer cost 40 and can save an expensive trip to ER 

    so every patient with Asthma COPD should have nebulizer at home 

    pl see article below  

    Two-thirds of COPD patients not using inhalers correctlyPublish date: October 15, 2018 By Tara Haelle; MDedge News▼ VitalsKey clinical point: 67% of US adult patients with COPD or asthma report making errors in using metered-dose inhalers.Major finding: 69% of patients do not exhale fully and away from the inhaler before inhalation; 50% do not inhale slowly and deeply.Study details: Meta-analysis of eight studies involving 1,221 U.S. adult patients with COPD or asthma who use metered-dose inhalers.Disclosures: Dr. Navaie is employed by Advance Health Solutions, which received Sunovion Pharmaceuticals funding for the study.Source: Navaie M et al. CHEST 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2018.08.705.

  • Breatheeasy

    Well I certainly have a lot of side effects from my inhalers. Some give me vertigo. And they seem to be less effective when the inflammation is bad. I’ll discuss this with my doctor. That’s great that a nebuliser is more effective. 

  • Melissa G

    Bekah definitely does better when she is struggling if she uses the nebulizer for taking albuterol instead of the inhaler.