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Using a Metered Dose Inhaler

Your healthcare provider has prescribed medication that you will breathe in (inhale) by using a metered-dose inhaler (MDI).  An inhaler is a pressurized sprayer that delivers a measured amount of medication.  To be effective, they must be used properly; therefore, please follow the directions below on how to use your MDI.


Woman using inhaler
Breathe in

Woman using inhaler
Breathe out

Steps for Using an Inhaler

Step 1:  Remove cap and shake the inhaler well before use.

Step 2:  Place the spacer/extender onto the inhaler.

Step 3:  Exhale (breathe out) completely through your mouth.

Step 4:  Place the spacer/extender at your lips or just inside your mouth.

Step 5:  Begin to inhale slowly and depress (push down) the inhaler at the same time.

Step 6:  Continue to inhale for a few seconds.

Step 7:  Hold your breath for 10 seconds.

Step 8:  Exhale (breathe out) through your nose.

Step 9:  Relax and wait 1 - 2 minutes before repeating steps 1 - 8


Important Notes:

  1. Be sure to follow your healthcare providers directions regarding dose (amount of medication) and frequency (how often you take the medication) of your inhaler(s).

  2. It is recommended that you rinse out your mouth after using your inhaler(s) to help prevent any sores or infections in your mouth.

  3. If you find that your medication is not working and you need to use it more often than prescribed (instructed), contact your healthcare provider.


© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.