The PSA guidance document Guidance for provision of a Pharmacist Only medicine–Short-acting beta₂ agonists (salbutamol and terbutaline)2 assists in responding appropriately to a request for an inhaler and/or relief of bronchospasm.

Learning objectives

After reading this article, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Describe key issues to consider when requested to supply a short-acting beta₂ agonist (salbutamol or terbutaline)
  • Discuss a pharmacist’s obligation where a request for medicine and/or spacers has been made via a third party, including a school, day care centre or kindergarten
  • Interpret expected standards of professional and ethical practice in pharmacy using professional documents.

Competencies (2016) addressed: 1.1.3, 1.1.4, 1.2.1, 1.3.1, 1.3.3, 2.1.2, 2.3.1, 3.1.1, 3.2.5, 3.5.2.

Competencies (2010) addressed: 1.1.1, 1.1.3, 1.2.1, 1.3.1, 2.1.1, 4.2.1, 4.3.3, 7.3.3.

Case Scenario 

Fabio, a distressed 20-year-old accompanied by his girlfriend comes into your pharmacy to ask for a salbutamol puffer. He appears wheezy and his girlfriend is concerned. On questioning, he is recovering from a cold. He consults you about obtaining a puffer for immediate relief, and in case it is needed again.

How can you respond to this request appropriately and safely for the patient?

Want to learn more? PSA members can access the full article and assessment questions here to earn up to 1.5 Group 2 CPD credits.

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