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Nebulised hypertonic saline in cystic fibrosis

Nebulisers are used to convert liquid medicines into fine droplets which can be breathed directly into the lungs. Nebulised hypertonic saline is often used for children with cystic fibrosis.

Hypertonic saline is a salty solution which can help to clear mucus from your chest. It works by making mucus thinner and can cause a cough. It will make it easier to clear mucus when doing chest physiotherapy. The brand of hypertonic saline that we give out is called Mucoclear. You will be prescribed either 3% or 6% strength.

When should it be taken?

You should take Mucoclear immediately before you do your physiotherapy as this is when it will have its best effect.

How should it be stored?

Mucoclear can be stored at room temperature.

Instructions for taking hypertonic saline

You will be given a nebuliser unit and shown how to use this and how to clean it.

It is important that you wash your hands before setting up the nebuliser.

The nebuliser must be cleaned after each use and you will be shown how to do this.

The nebuliser provided must be serviced every year so please make sure you contact the team if you notice your nebuliser is due for service.

Side effects

We recommend that everyone who takes Mucoclear uses a Salbutamol inhaler beforehand. Hypertonic saline can sometimes cause irritation to the airways known as bronchoconstriction and may lead to chest tightness and wheeze.

When starting hypertonic saline the dose will be given at the hospital so that we can check there are no problems. Please read the information leaflet provided with the Mucoclear and if there are any adverse affects stop taking the medication and contact the hospital.

Your treatment plan for hypertonic saline

The type of nebuliser you have been given is:

Specific instructions for your nebuliser are:

Contact us

If you have any questions of concerns please call 0114 271 7273 or 0114 271 7375.

You must always discuss the individual treatment of your child with the appropriate member of staff. Do not rely on this resource alone for information about your child’s treatment.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

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Please note this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s. The details in this resource may not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If you have specific questions about how this resource relates to your child, please ask your doctor.

Resource number: CF18

Resource Type: Article

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