Many medicines are available as inhaled treatments. Inhaled methods deliver medicine 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.

An Autohaler® consists of a pressurized canister of medication in a plastic case with a mouthpiece. The Autohaler® is breath activated. This means when you inhale, the Autohaler® automatically releases a mist of medication. 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 Autohaler® a desirable method for inhalation treatment.

The following steps outline the best method to use an Autohaler®:

How to Assemble the Autohaler®
Taking an Inhaled Treatment
Cleaning and Care
How to Tell when the Autohaler® is Empty


How to Assemble the Autohaler®

  1. Remove the cap from the Autohaler® by pulling down the lip on the back of the cap. Check the mouthpiece for foreign objects.
  2. Hold Autohaler® upright with the mouthpiece down. Do not cover the air vents at the bottom of the Autohaler®.
  3. Raise the top lever so that it stays up while the Autohaler® is upright.
  4. Shake the Autohaler® gently. This mixes the medication properly.

Taking an Inhaled Treatment

  1. Gently breathe out.
  2. Seal your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
  3. Inhale deeply with steady, moderate force. You will hear a click and feel mist when your breath activates the medication. Do not stop inhaling when you feel the mist. Continue to take a full, deep breath.
  4. Hold your breath for up to ten seconds. This allows the medication time to deposit in the airway.
  5. Resume normal breathing.
  6. Lower the lever on the Autohaler®.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 when more than one puff is prescribed.

Cleaning and Care

  1. Clean the Autohaler® once a week or sooner if needed. Regular cleaning will prevent powder accumulation inside the Autohaler® mouthpiece.
  2. Remove the cap from the Autohaler® by pulling down the lip on the back of the cap.
  3. Turn the Autohaler® upside down with the mouthpiece up. Wipe the mouthpiece with a clean dry cloth.
  4. Gently tap the back of the Autohaler® so the flap comes down and the spray hole can be seen. With the white flap down as shown in the picture, clean the surface of the flap with a dry cotton swab.


How To Tell When the Autohaler® is Empty

The Autohaler® contains 400 puffs. You may want to date your Autohaler® when you get it so you can estimate how long it will last. Use this chart to estimate how long your Autohaler® will last.

Autohaler chart for number of puffs per day and approxipate days of therapy available.


This information has been reviewed and approved by David Tinkelman, MD (August 2012)