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Warn patients over test-firing inhalers

GPs must warn asthma patients to test-fire their inhalers before using them for the first time to ensure they get the correct dose.

The Medicines Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency issued an alert after learning some patients had experienced sticking or squeaking valves when using the generic salbutamol aerosol inhaler.

A spokesman said: 'Some units may squeak on actuation, but nevertheless respond normally, or may take one, two or three test-firing shots before operating smoothly.

'It is a wise precaution to test-fire before using the aerosol for the first time and also on every occasion when it has not been used for a week or more.'

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