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Sep 15, 2021
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How to use inhalers to help

When prescribing inhaler medications for you, be sure to talk with your doctor about how to use them correctly. Do not hesitate to ask questions and clarify, because the effectiveness of the treatment and your condition depend on how correctly you use the device. If you have problems using the drug or it seems to you that the effect of its use is insufficient, you should come for a second visit.

If you see a cloud of drug while inhaling, then you need to correct the technique of using the device.

Do not use drugs with an expired expiration date and control the number of doses remaining in order to start a new package in a timely manner. Inhalers should be stored in a cool and dry place (therefore they should not be stored, for example, in the bathroom), keeping them clean (important – DO NOT use water or other liquids to clean powder inhalers!).

If you use inhalers containing hormonal drugs, you should definitely rinse your mouth after taking the medication (if you used a mask, then you should also wash your face). This will reduce the amount of deposited particles and reduce the risk of side effects.

The table below provides general advice on how to use the different types of inhalers and what to look out for when working with them. At the same time, we note that the recommendations of manufacturers of types of inhalers may differ slightly, so we recommend that you carefully read the instructions for using a particular drug or use video instructions.

Inhaler type:

How to use:

Metered dose inhaler

  1. If the inhaler has a built-in dose counter, check it.
  2. Remove the cap, shake the inhaler well.
  3. Stand up or sit up straight.
  4. Exhale slowly and deeply to the side (not into the inhaler!).
  5. Insert the mouthpiece into your mouth, wrapping your lips tightly around it. The bottom of the can should look up, the head should be tilted back slightly.
  6. Press on the bottom of the can while inhaling through your mouth.
  7. Continue to inhale slowly to the maximum, then hold your breath for 5-10 seconds.
  8. Take the mouthpiece out of your mouth and exhale slowly through your nose. If you need a second inhalation, hold the can upright for about 30-60 seconds, then repeat the procedure.
  9. Put on the protective cap.

If the can has not been used for more than 3 days, before use it is worth pressing on its bottom until a cloud of aerosol appears.

The recommendations for cleaning the inhaler depend on the manufacturer. It is not recommended to immerse the medicine cartridge in water.

Metered-dose powder inhaler

  1. Remove the cap, take the inhaler vertically or horizontally (depending on the type of inhaler).
  2. “Load” the dose of the drug – fill the capsule in the case of a single-dose inhaler or use the automatic dispenser in a multi-dose inhaler (this can be pressing a special lever, turning a wheel, etc.).
  3. Stand up or sit up straight.
  4. Exhale deeply slowly to the side (not into the inhaler!).
  5. Insert the mouthpiece into your mouth, wrapping your lips tightly around it.
  6. Take a deep, fast, and strong breath through your mouth.
  7. Hold your breath, count to 10.
  8. Take the inhaler out of your mouth, exhale slowly.
  9. If you need to do a second inhalation, wait 1 minute and repeat the procedure.
  10. Close the inhaler.

It is necessary to wipe the inhaler mouthpiece with a clean dry cloth at least once a week. Do not use water or other liquids to clean the inhaler.

Inhaler “soft mist”

  1. Turn the transparent sleeve until it clicks, keeping the cap closed.
  2. Open the cap as far as it will go.
  3. Stand up or sit up straight.
  4. Exhale deeply slowly to the side (not into the inhaler!).
  5. Insert the mouthpiece into your mouth, wrapping your lips tightly around it.
  6. Take a deep, fast, and strong breath through your mouth.
  7. Hold your breath, count to 10.
  8. Take the inhaler out of your mouth, exhale slowly.
  9. Close the inhaler.

Throw it away 3 months after opening the inhaler, even if the entire supply of doses has not been used up.

Once a week, wipe the inhaler with a dry, clean cloth.

Spray

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Assemble the nebulizer.
  3. Add the required medicine (sterile saline should be used as a solvent, and it is added first to the nebulizer chamber, the rest of the drugs are added later).
  4. Place the mouthpiece in your mouth, wrapping your lips tightly around it.
  5. In the case of using a mask, it should also fit snugly to the face.
  6. Turn on the nebulizer. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your mouth. If possible, you should hold your breath for 1-2 seconds before exhaling.
  7. Continue inhaling until the medicine container is empty (about 10 minutes).
  8. Take the mouthpiece out of your mouth, turn off the nebulizer.

If you used hormonal drugs – rinse your mouth, wash if using a mask.

Rinse the nebulizer parts with warm water and dry. It is recommended to disinfect the parts of the nebulizer that have been in contact with the patient 1-2 times a week. At the same time, it is not recommended to wash and boil the nebulizer tube.

It is important that the drugs that are used for inhalation are sterile and can be used for a nebulizer.

Spacers

  1. Remove the inhaler cap, prepare the inhaler.
  2. Prepare the spacer – it must be clean and free of foreign objects.
  3. Connect the spacer and inhaler.
  4. Stand up or sit up straight.
  5. Exhale slowly to the side.
  6. Take the mouthpiece of the spacer into your mouth, wrapping your lips tightly around it.
  7. Spray the dose of the medication while inhaling. Continue breathing as slowly and deeply as possible for 3-5 seconds.
  8. Hold your breath and count to 10.
  9. Take the mouthpiece out of your mouth, exhale slowly.
  10. If you need to do a second inhalation, wait 1 minute and repeat the procedure.
  11. Disassemble the spacer and inhaler.
  12. Close inhaler and spacer.

If you used hormonal drugs – rinse your mouth, wash if using a mask.

The spacer should be rinsed with warm water and a little detergent. Do not rub the inside of the spacer!

Compliance with the recommendations for the use of inhalers will ensure the maximum effect of their intake and reduce the risk of side effects.


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