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How to Use Your Inhaler

Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI or pMDI) | Spacers | DISKUS® | Turbuhaler® | Diskhaler®

About Inhalers
Several different kinds of asthma medicines are taken using an inhaler. Inhaled asthma medications go directly to the site of inflammation and constriction in the airways instead of traveling through the bloodstream to get there. Inhaled medications are the preferred therapy for asthma. Inhaled medications only work if they get to the airways, so learn how to use your inhaler properly.

Many people do not use their inhalers properly, so the medication does not reach their airways. It is very important that you show your doctor, pharmacist, or asthma educator how you use your inhaler to make sure the medication is getting into your lungs, where you need it.

Inhalers fall into two categories:

  • Aerosol Inhalers: Pressurized metered dose inhaler is a canister filled with asthma medication suspended in a propellant. When the canister is pushed down, a measured dose of the medication is pushed out as you breathe it in. Pressurized metered dose inhalers are commonly called "puffers".
  • Reliever
  • Dry-powder inhalers: Dry powdered inhalers contain a dry powder medication that is drawn into your lungs when you breathe in.

Dry Powder Inhaler

Some people prefer dry-powder inhalers to pressurized inhalers because they find it easier to co-ordinate breathing in medication from them. However, with some dry-powder inhalers, it's necessary to inhale more quickly to get the right dose than it is with a pressurized inhaler. You may have to experiment with a number of different devices (under your doctor's supervision) before finding the one you're most comfortable with. An asthma educator can assist you in matching you with the best device.

Some inhaler devices come with built-in counters that monitor the number of doses a person has taken and how many doses the device has left. If your inhaler doesn't have a counter, ask your doctor or an asthma educator to show you how to monitor your dose.




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Asthma Medications

What are the different kinds of asthma medications? Are you using your inhaler properly? What is an Asthma Action Plan and how do I get one? Learn what your medication does and how to take it properly by reading the Asthma Basics Booklet #3: Medications

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DISCLAIMER: Content on this website is for information purposes only andnot a substitute for a qualified medical professional.
For specific information treatment and management your asthma and/or potential side effects of medications and
treatment, please consult your physician.