This device is called a Metered-Dose-Inhaler. When using a Metered-Dose-Inhaler you need to coordinate actuating the inhaler with inhaling the medication.
We will talk about open mouth technique. When you are ready to take a dose of the medication, remove the cap from the inhaler. Look for foreign objects in the inhaler.
The metered-dose-inhaler often needs to be primed before using the first dose. Priming is spraying a number of doses into the air. Check the package insert that comes with the inhaler to see how to prime the inhaler.
Hold the inhaler with the mouthpiece at the bottom.
Shake the inhaler.
Hold the mouthpiece 11/2-2 inches or about 2-3 fingers in front of your mouth. You can build a bridge with your fingers.
Open your mouth wide.
Gently breathe out.
Press the inhaler once as you inhale slowly and deeply.
Hold you breath for as long as you can or up to ten seconds.
Repeat for each dose you have been told to take.
To find out when your inhaler is empty, check the metal canister of the metered dose inhaler to see how many puffs are in the inhaler. There are more puffs of propellant in the inhaler than puffs of medication, so it's important to stop using the inhaler when you run out of medication. Don't wait until you run out of the propellant. You will need to keep track of how many puffs you are using to get a new device before you finish the current device.
Check the package insert to find out how to clean the metered dose inhaler. This varies depending on the medication in the metered dose inhaler.
Keep the cap on the inhaler after each use to help it stay clean.
National Jewish Health has been ranked by US News and World Report as the number one respiratory hospital in the nation for 11 years in a row. Find out more at NJHealth.org.