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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 health care provider can choose from a variety of delivery systems for inhaling medication.

A Respimat consists of a plastic device containing medication. The medication is released as a slow-moving soft mist. 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 Respimat a desirable method for inhalation treatment.

The following steps outline the best method to use a Respimat.

Before Using a New Respimat:

  • Hold the orange cap in one hand and press the safety catch on the side of the inhaler. With the other hand pull off the clear base. Don’t touch the piercing element located inside the bottom of the clear base.
  • Write the discard date on the inhaler. The discard date is 3 months from the date you prepare the new Respimat.


  • Take the Respimat cartridge out of the box.
  • Push the narrow part of the cartridge into the inhaler.
  • Push the cartridge on a firm surface to make sure it is correctly inserted. The base of the cartridge will not sit flush with the inhaler.


  • Do not remove the cartridge once it is inserted into the inhaler.
  • Put the clear plastic base back onto the inhaler. Do not remove the plastic base once it is attached to the inhaler.


Priming a New Respimat:

Priming the Respimat is important to make sure you get the correct dose of medicine each time.

  • Hold the Respimat inhaler upright, with the orange cap at the top and closed.
  • Turn the clear base in the direction of the white arrows for a half turn until it clicks.
  • Flip the orange cap until it snaps fully open.
  • Point the inhaler towards the ground.


  • Press the dose release button.
  • Close the orange cap.
  • Repeat the Priming procedure three more times. Now the inhaler is ready for use.

Note: If you have not used the Respimat inhaler for more than 21 days prime the inhaler as described above. If you have not used the inhaler for more than 3 days prime it once.


Taking an Inhaled Dose:

  • Hold the Respimat upright.
  • Turn the clear base in the direction of the white arrows for a half turn until it clicks.
  • Flip the orange cap until it snaps fully open.
  • Hold the Respimat away from your mouth and gently breathe out.
  • Seal your lips around the end of the mouthpiece without covering the air vents.
  • Point the Respimat inhaler to the back of your throat.
  • While inhaling slowly and deeply through your mouth press the dose release button. Continue to breathe in slowly and deeply.


  • Hold your breath for up to ten seconds. This allows the medication time to deposit in the airways.
  • Resume normal breathing.
  • Close the orange cap until you use the inhaler again.


Identifying When the Respimat is Empty:

  • The Respimat has a dose indicator on the side of the device. The dose indicator shows about how many doses are left in the Respimat.
  • When the pointer enters the red area of the scale there is enough medicine for 7 days. Plan to get a new Respimat at this point.
  • When the pointer gets to the bottom of the red area, there are no doses left. The inhaler locks.


Care and Cleaning:

Wipe the mouthpiece including the metal part inside the mouthpiece with a damp cloth at least once a week. Keep the Respimat closed when not in use.

This information has been approved by Ann Mullen, RN, CNS, MSN, AE-C   (November 2012).