How do I keep an albuterol diary?

How do I keep an albuterol diary?

Albuterol is intended to be used “as needed” for asthma exacerbations. If asthma is well-controlled, albuterol shouldn’t need to be used very often. We ask for an albuterol diary to get an idea of how often a patient requires it. Tracking albuterol use is both helpful to the healthcare provider and the patient to identify patterns of use and triggers and can help determine other treatment options such as the need for a daily preventive medicine.

Record the following things each time you use your albuterol:

  • Date and time
  • Symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing)
  • Events leading up to albuterol use (exercise, allergen exposure)
  • Number of puffs (if using an inhaler)
  • If you’re using a nebulizer, document each treatment

For example:          

Date Time Symptoms Precipitating events Use of inhaler/neb (how many puffs?)
7/1/12 2:15pm Short of breath, coughing, tight chest Playing tag at recess Used 2 puffs on inhaler
7/4/12 3:10am Coughing, felt like someone was pressing on my chest Sleeping, symptoms woke me up Used 2 puffs on inhaler
7/9/12 6:30pm Coughing, chest tightness I was eating dinner at grandma’s and she smokes in the house. Didn’t have inhaler with me
7/9/12 8:00pm Continued coughing, chest tightness Had previously been at grandma’s and she smokes in the house. Used 2 puffs on inhaler. No relief; used albuterol neb
7/10/12 9:15am Shortness of breath Running in PE Used 2 puffs on inhaler