Using a Rotahaler®
This device is not available in the United States anymore.
Many medications are available as inhaled treatments. Inhaled methods deliver medication directly to the airway, which is particularly useful for respiratory conditions. The patient and healthcare provider can choose from a variety of delivery systems for inhaling medication.
Rotacaps® are capsules of powdered medication which are placed in a Rotahaler®. A Rotahaler® is a plastic inhalation device which is breath activated. This means when you inhale, the Rotahaler® releases medication from the Rotacap®. When inhaled correctly, the medication has a better chance to reach the small airways. This increases the medication's effectiveness. Its portable size, efficiency and convenience make the Rotahaler® a desirable method for inhalation treatment.
The following steps outline the best method to use a Rotahaler®.
How to Assemble the Rotahaler®
- Remove the Rotahaler® from its container. Check the mouthpiece for foreign objects.
- Keeping the Rotahaler® upright (with mouthpiece down), hold the darker colored end in one hand and turn the lighter colored end as far as it will go in either direction.
- Take a Rotacap® from its package and insert the clear (thinner) end into the raised hole located in the lighter colored end of the Rotahaler®. Push the new capsule in until it is level with the top of the hole. This will force the used capsule shell into the Rotahaler® chamber.
- Hold the Rotahaler® level (horizontally) with the white spot up and turn the lighter colored end as far as it will go in the opposite direction. This will open the capsule.
Taking an Inhaled Treatment
- Gently breathe out.
- Seal your lips around the mouthpiece (the darker colored end).
- Breathe in through your mouth as quickly and deeply as possible. Continue to take a full, deep breath.
- Hold your breath for up to ten seconds. This allows the medication time to deposit in the airway.
- Resume normal breathing.
- After each use, pull the two halves of the Rotahaler® apart and throw away the loose capsule shell.
- Reassemble the Rotahaler®.
- Repeat steps 1-7 when more than one Rotacap® is prescribed.
Cleaning and Care for the Rotahaler®:
- Clean the Rotahaler® once every two weeks or sooner if needed. Regular cleaning will prevent powder accumulation inside the Rotahaler®.
- Remove the empty capsule shell before washing the Rotahaler®.
- Rinse the two halves of your Rotahaler® in warm water.
- Shake off any excess water.
- Dry your Rotahaler® thoroughly before reassembling it.
This information has been reviewed and approved by David Tinkelman, MD (August 2012)