Why does my patient/client need a nebuliser?

When someone with a lung condition has distressing or disabling breathlessness despite maximal use of their inhalers, they are sometimes supplied with a nebuliser. This device can only be prescribed by:

  • Respiratory specialist.
  • GP.

The nebuliser is used when the patient/client requires large doses of inhaled medicines or those who are too ill or otherwise unable to use traditional inhalers.

Nebuliser therapy should only be prescribed after an assessment of the patient and/or carer’s ability to use it. Nebulised therapy should not continue to be prescribed without assessing and confirming that it is having a positive effect on the user.

Nebulisers are frequently used in hospitals and by ambulance crews in an emergency to help relieve the symptoms of breathlessness which may be caused by an acute severe Asthma attack or an exacerbation of a chronic lung condition. The use of nebulisers in these circumstances does not automatically mean a home nebuliser will be needed.

It is not advisable to buy or share the use of a nebuliser which has not been prescribed for the individuals use. GP’s are not required to prescribe medication for a privately purchased nebuliser.