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Standard inhaler colours could save lives

Standard inhaler colours could save lives

Standardising the colour of inhalers could improve treatment and save the lives of people with asthma, according to findings of a UK Inhaler Group (UKIG) survey.

Typically steroid inhalers are green and reliever inhalers are blue, however this is not consistent across Europe due to a lack of agreement between pharmaceutical manufacturers. This means that not all devices stick to the typical green/blue colour conventions, which could make it more difficult for a person to know which inhaler is the right one to use.

The report surveyed 2,127 patients using an online questionnaire to assess the importance of the colour of inhalers in identifying steroid inhalers against reliever inhalers, which are used to provide rapid relief of uncomfortable symptoms.

The results found that a significant 89% of people relied on the colour of the inhalation devices to distinguish between steroid inhalers and reliever inhalers.

The study calls on manufacturers to formalise colour conventions in the interests of safety, placing particular importance on the standardisation of blue reliever inhalers, due to the significant role they have in emergency relief.

Read the report