Asthma - How to Use an Inhaler

Using an inhaler seems simple, however many people use it incorrectly. As a result, less medication reaches the lungs where it needs to work and most of it remains at the back of the throat. If you are really struggling to use the inhaler, it might be a good idea to use a spacer. Ask your doctor if you would like to get a spacer.

The instructions below are for the use of a meter-dose inhaler, and not for the powder inhaler.


STEP 1: Take the cap off.

STEP 2: Shake the inhaler.

STEP 3: Breathe out all the way, pushing out as much air of your lungs as you can.

STEP 4: Hold the inhaler with the mouthpiece facing down. Place your lips around the mouthpiece so that it forms a tight seal.

STEP 5: Slowly start breathing in through your mouth. At the same time, press down the inhaler (one time only).

STEP 6: Keep breathing in slowly as deeply as you possibly can.

STEP 7: Take the inhaler out of your mouth and then hold your breath as you count to 10.

STEP 8: Breath out.

STEP 9: If you are using the reliever, wait 1 minute before taking the next puff.

STEP 10: Put the cap back on the mouthpiece and ensure it is closed.

STEP 11: Rinse your mouth with water, gargle and spit. This is to wash away the excess medication that can land at the back of your mouth.


Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window

Reference: Wu TD, Brigham EP, McCormack MC. Asthma in the Primary Care Setting. Med Clin North Am. 2019 May;103(3):435-452

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