Tag Archives: Prescribing

Thousands at risk of asthma attacks from unsafe prescribing

A lot of people suffer from asthma, and an analysis of over 500 GP practices by Asthma UK suggests that over 22,000 of them have been prescribed medicines – long-acting reliever inhalers – in a way that is unsafe.

Asthma inhalers

The report also shows that almost 100,000 asthmatics have been prescribed too many short-acting reliever inhalers (more than 12 in a year) without national clinical guidelines being followed.

Asthma medication is safe, but it is dangerous to use a long-acting reliever inhaler alone, without a steroid preventer inhaler or as a combination inhaler. This is because a long-acting reliever inhaler helps to keep the airways open but does not treat the underlying inflammation. This leaves the airways of people with asthma inflamed and more likely to react to triggers such as pollen or pollution, putting them at risk of having a potentially life-threatening attack.

If someone with asthma is prescribed more than 12 short acting reliever inhalers in a year (using it more than three times each week) it is a key indicator that they are not managing their condition and that their treatment needs reviewing.

If you are worried about your asthma inhalers, speak to one of our pharmacists and ask for a medicines use review.