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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 Flexhaler® consists of a plastic device containing dry powdered medication, and it is breath activated. This means when you inhale, the Flexhaler® 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 Flexhaler® a desirable method for inhalation treatment.

Before Using a New Flexhaler®

Only follow these steps the first time you use your new Flexhaler®. 

  1. Remove the cap from the Flexhaler® by unscrewing the cap.
  2. Hold the Flexhaler® with the mouthpiece up.
  3. Turn the brown bottom of the Flexhaler® all the way to the right and back to the left. You will hear it click.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3.


Taking an Inhaled Treatment

  1. Inhaling using the Flexhaler.Remove the cap from the Flexhaler® by unscrewing the cap.
  2. Hold the Flexhaler® with the mouthpiece up. This will load the medication correctly.
  3. Turn the bottom all the way to the right and back to the left. You will hear it click. This will load the medication.
  4. Hold the Flexhaler® away from your mouth and gently breathe out.
  5. Seal your lips around the mouthpiece.
  6. Inhale rapidly and deeply. Continue to take a full, deep breath.
  7. Resume normal breathing.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 when more than one puff is prescribed.
  9. Rinse your mouth and spit out the water after inhaling the medication.
  10. Keep the Flexhaler® cap on when not in use. This will keep the Flexhaler® clean and dry.


Identifying When the Flexhaler® is Empty


Empty Flexhaler.The Flexhaler® has a dose counter window below the mouthpiece. It will let you know approximately how many doses are left. As you use the Flexhaler® the numbers will count down by 10. The Flexhaler® will count down to zero in the center of the window when the Flexhaler® is empty.  Plan to get a new Flexhaler® before you see the zero in the window.

Cleaning the Flexhaler®

Wipe the mouthpiece with a clean cloth at least once a week or if it appears dirty. Do not put the Flexhaler in water.


This information has been reviewed and approved by Ann Mullen, RN, CNS, MSN, AE-C (December 2014)