Proper Use of Metered-Dose Inhaler
Albuterol, Ipratropium Bromide, Combivent, and Aerobid are medications that are considered metered dose inhalers (MDI).
Proper Use of MDI
- Remove the inhaler cap and hold the inhaler upright.
- Shake the Inhaler.
- Tilt your head back slightly and breathe out all the way.
- Hold the inhaler 1 to 2 inches (the width of 2 fingers) away from your mouth. Or insert the MDI into a spacer (also know as an aero chamber) then insert the other end of the spacer into your mouth.
- Start breathing in slowly, press down inhaler, and continue breathing in slowly for 3-5 seconds, as deep as you can. Or, if using a spacer, press down inhaler and then breathe in slowly for 3-5 seconds as deep as you can.
- Hold your breath for 10 seconds to allow medicine to go deep into your lungs.
- Repeat if prescribed to.
Important Reminders About MDI’s
- Keep your MDI somewhere where you can get it quickly if you need it.
- Keep out of children’ reach.
- Show your medical provider, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist how you’re using your MDI.
- Allow 2 inches between mouth and inhaler to allow the medication to go deep into your lungs. NOTE: holding inhaler in your mouth will cause the medication particles to hit the back of your throat rather than go in to the lungs.
- If you breathe in slowly the medication will go deeper into the lungs and be more effective.
- Never puncture or break the canister.
- When using a new inhaler write the start date on the canister.
- Check expiration date on the canister before using it.
If you are having troubles using your inhaler then ask your medical provider for tips or to recommend another device.
Correct Order of Inhaled Medications
- Always use your fast acting bronchodilator first, either as an inhaler or as a nebulizer treatment. These include medicines such as Albuterol, Proventil, Ventolin, and Combivent.
- Use your steroid last and rinse your mouth. This can include medicines such as Advair, Pulmicort, and Symbicort.