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How to use a metered-dose inhaler

How to use a metered-dose inhaler

Most medications for relieving asthma are very effective when inhaled because the product reaches the bronchi directly. However, it is very important to follow the instructions for the correct use of this medication.


What is a metered-dose inhaler?

It is a simple system comprising:

  • A metal cartridge containing medication and a propellant gas
  • And a plastic outer shell with a mouthpiece and cap

How should I use the inhaler?

How should I use my powder inhaler?

  1. Shake the device to mix the product with the propellant gas.
  2. Remove the cap to release the mouthpiece.
  3. Hold the inhaler vertically with the metal cartridge facing upwards.
  4. Empty your lungs by breathing out deeply.
  5. Place the mouthpiece at the entrance to your mouth.
  6. Start to breathe in while pressing against the bottom of the cartridge.
  7. Take a deep breath in.
  8. Remove the mouthpiece from your mouth.
  9. Hold your breath for 10 seconds.
  10. Rinse your mouth out.
  11. Run the mouthpiece under water before storing it in the box.

How do I know if I have taken the product correctly?

Do a test in front of a mirror. If a significant amount of the product is escaping from your nose or mouth, try again and take time to co-ordinate your movements.
The metal cartridge must be pressed during the inhalation. The inhalation must be deep.
If you experience any difficulties, discuss them with your doctor. He or she will be able to give you information or suggest using a different system or a spacer.

How can I tell when a container is empty?

Some products are fitted with a dose counter (from maximum to minimum). For other products, make a note on the packaging of the date you took the first dose. According to the number of doses noted on the container, you will have an idea of the date on which you will finish your medication. If in doubt, put the metal cartridge in water. If it floats on its side, it is empty.

What precautions should be taken?

  • Keep the directions for use and a copy of the prescription
  • Store the product in a cool, dry place and out of the reach of children
  • Even when empty, the cartridge may still contain gas. Do not pierce it and do not dispose of it in a fire

What should I do if I can't take the product correctly?

If you can't take the product correctly, talk to your doctor. There are practical training sessions for learning how to better use your medication. For children and elderly people, masks or spacers are also available that allow the medication to be taken without difficulty.

Are there any adverse effects?

As with all medications, there may be adverse effects. For inhaled medications, the vast majority of these effects are mild. If in any doubt, ask your doctor for advice.

The dosage is intended strictly for your personal use only. It is adapted by your doctor to suit the severity of your asthma. Follow the instructions written on your prescription and read the directions for use carefully before taking your medication.

Publication date:   8/9/16
Date of modification:  11/29/11
 
 

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