Using a Diskus®
How to Use a Diskus®
Many medications are available as inhaled treatments. Inhaled methods deliver medication directly to the airway, which is helpful for lung diseases. The patient and healthcare provider can choose from a variety of delivery systems for inhaling medication.
A Diskus® consists of a plastic device containing powdered medication. A Diskus® is breath activated. This means when you inhale, the Diskus® automatically releases the medication. When inhaled correctly, the medication has a better chance to reach the small airways. This increases the medication's effectiveness. The portable size, efficiency and convenience make the Diskus® a desirable method for inhalation treatment.
Before Using a New Diskus®
Take the Diskus® out of the foil wrapper. Check the foil pouch to see when the Diskus® must be used. Depending on the medicine in the device, the discus must be used within four to six weeks of opening the foil wrapper.
Taking an Inhaled Treatment
Hold the Diskus® level with one hand.
- Place the thumb of the other hand on the thumb grip.
- Push your thumb away from you until the Diskus® clicks. This will open the Diskus® so you can see the mouthpiece.
- Hold the Diskus® level and slide the lever away from you until the Diskus® clicks. This will load the medication. Keep the Diskus® level so you don't loose the medication.
- Hold the Diskus® level and away from your mouth and gently breathe out. Never exhale into to Diskus®.
- Seal your lips around the mouthpiece.
- Inhale rapidly and deeply. Continue to take a full, deep breath.
- Hold your breath for up to ten seconds. This allows the medication time to deposit in the airways.
- Resume normal breathing.
- Close the Diskus® by placing your thumb on the thumb grip. Pull your thumb toward you until the discus clicks. The mouthpiece will be hidden and the lever will be reset.
Note: If the medicine you are taking is Advair Diskus®, rinse your mouth after using it.
Identifying When the Diskus® is Empty
- The Diskus® has a dose indicator on the top of the device. Numbers on the dose indicator show how many doses are left in the Diskus®.
- When there are five doses left in the Diskus® the numbers on the dose indicator will turn red. This means the Diskus® is almost empty.
- When the red number is at 0 the Diskus® is empty. Plan to get a new Diskus before the dose indicator gets to 0.
Care and Cleaning for the Diskus®
Keep the Diskus® closed when not in use. Keep the Diskus® dry. The Diskus® does not need to be cleaned routinely. If the mouthpiece is dirty, wipe it with a cloth.
This information has been reviewed and approved by David Tinkelman, MD (August 2012)