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Mannitol Challenge Tests


Mannitol (Aridol) Challenge Tests are only performed on patients with suspected asthma where their spirometry is normal or near normal. The test must be performed after a period of abstinence from certain drugs and foods. This is a very strict test and to obtain a reliable result a few guidelines have to be followed.

Before the Test

Do not smoke or exercise on the day before having the test. Your doctor will advise you on the need to stop any medications. (See below) Other non-respiratory medications may be taken as per normal instruction.

Please contact our office if you have a bad cold or flu. The test may need to be rescheduled.

The Test

At the start of the test you will be asked to blow into a spirometer to measure how fast and how much air you can blow out. You will inhale a fine powder from an inhaler. The powder contains Mannitol (a naturally occurring sugar).

The spirometer test is repeated after you inhale the mist or powder. You will receive treatment with a bronchodilator (e.g. Ventolin) if your respiratory function declines significantly during the test. This treatment will be given by a nebulizer or a metered aerosol.

There is an additional fee for consumable items (Aridol Medication) for this test.

Medications to Stop BEFORE Your Mannitol Challenge Test

Several medications can affect the results of the test. It is important these medications NOT be used prior to the test.

Any ANTIBIOTICS should be ceased at least 2 weeks prior to the test.

Please look at the following list – if you are unsure, please contact our Respiratory Technician and ask.

Withhold on the day of the test:

Coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate or other food containing caffeine (at least 3 hours prior). These may decrease bronchial responsiveness.

Refrain from smoking at least 6 hours prior to testing.

Withhold at least 24 Hours: any Asthma Relievers including but not restricted to:

  • Intal
  • Rynacrom
  • Tilade
  • Ventolin
  • Airomir
  • Asmol
  • Butamol
  • Brycanyl
  • Atrovent
  • Ipravent
  • Aeron
  • Apoven
  • Combivent

Vigorous exercise should not be performed prior to testing on the day of the test.

Withhold at least 48 hours: any Asthma combination medications, corticosteroid preventers, including but not restricted to:

  • Seretide
  • Breo Elipta
  • Flixotide
  • Beconase
  • Symbicort
  • Pulmicort
  • Budamax
  • Qvar
  • Alvesco
  • Serevent
  • Oxis
  • Foradile
  • Nuelin

Withhold at least 72 hours: any antihistamines including but not restricted to:

  • Spiriva
  • Telfast
  • Claratyne
  • Zyrtec
  • Polaramine
  • Phenergan
  • Avil
  • Zadine
  • Demazin
  • Fabahistin
  • Teldane
  • Histaminal
  • Vallergan
  • Periactin
  • Ancolan
  • Rhinocort
  • Nasonex
  • Cough, Cold and Flu tablets and sprays

 Withhold at least 4 days:            Singulair or other non-steroidal preventers.

If you are unsure about any medications you are taking please contact the office on 3719 5577.  If you have any known drug allergies,  please let us know before your test. Print these Mannitol Challenge Instructions.


In recommending this procedure Professor Allen has balanced the benefits and risks of the procedure against the benefits and risks of not proceeding. The possible complications of this procedure are:
•Mild shortness of breath
•Feeling tight in the chest

All of these symptoms can be treated with medication.
A severe asthma attack which would require treatment with medication is a very rare complication (less than 1%).