Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Allergic Asthma Proper Use

Directions for the proper use of an inhaler with a spacer:

  • Remove the cap from the inhaler.
  • Hold the inhaler with the mouthpiece at the bottom.
  • Shake the inhaler.
  • Insert the spacer if you have one, and place your mouth around the spacer.
  • Tilt your head back slightly.
  • Gently exhale.
  • Begin a slow, deep breath and activate the inhaler.
  • Continue to inhale slowly and deeply over 3 - 5 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for 5-10 seconds.
  • Repeat steps 3 through 10 if you require more than one puff.

Directions for the proper use of an inhaler without a spacer:
  • Remove the cap from the inhaler.
  • Hold the inhaler with the mouthpiece at the bottom.
  • Shake the inhaler.
  • Hold the mouthpiece 1.5 inches (4 cm) in front of your mouth. Your mouth should not touch the mouthpiece.
  • Tilt your head back slightly and open your mouth widely.
  • Gently exhale.
  • Begin a slow, deep breath and activate the inhaler.
  • Continue to inhale slowly and deeply over 3 - 5 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for 5-10 seconds.
  • Repeat steps 3 through 10 if you require more than one puff.

Tips on using an inhaler:
  • Keep your inhaler with you at all times. Use it at the first sign of wheezing.
  • Learn to use a spacer with the inhaler.
  • Use the inhaler every 20 minutes for the first hour of an attack. Continue the medication every 4 hours until symptoms are gone.

Continue to Allergic Asthma Nebulizer

Last Updated: Jun 2, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Allergic Asthma References
  1. Chipps BE. Determinants of asthma and its clinical course. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2004 Oct;93(4):309-15. [15521365]
  2. de Marco R, Locatelli F, Cazzoletti L, Bugiani M, Carosso A, Marinoni A.. Incidence of asthma and mortality in a cohort of young adults: a 7-year prospective study. Respir Res. 2005 Aug 16;6(1):95. [16105170]
  3. Keeley D, McKean M. Asthma and other wheezing disorders of childhood. Clin Evid. 2003 Jun;(9):287-317. [15366138]
  4. Neidell MJ. Air pollution, health, and socio-economic status: the effect of outdoor air quality on childhood asthma. J Health Econ. 2004 Nov;23(6):1209-36. [15556243]
  5. Rees J. ABC of asthma. Prevalence. BMJ. 2005 Aug 20;331(7514):443-5. [16110074]
  6. Vallance G, Thomson NC. Asthma: ten myths debunked. Practitioner. 2004 Nov;248(1664):844-7. [15543882]
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