Ways & How

how to use an inhaler properly

how to use an inhaler properly how to use an inhaler properly

Inhalers are increasingly becoming the medication of choice for the treatment of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory problems. They use a pressurized canister that administers prescribed medication directly to the lungs. To be effective and get the maximum benefit from an inhaler, it should be used correctly in the prescribed manner so that as much of the medicine reaches and gets absorbed into the lungs. Incorrect use of the inhaler will render the medication ineffective, if not completely useless. Therefore, if you must use one, you need to know how to use an inhaler properly. Here’s how:

  1. Hold the inhaler upright, that is, with the canister on top and the mouthpiece down. For a proper grip, your index and middle fingers should be on the top of the metal canister and your thumb should be placed at the bottom of the mouthpiece. This is to simplify the movement for when you press the inhaler to release the medication.

  2. Shake it several times for at least 10 seconds before removing the cap.


  3. Hold your head erect and breathe out slowly with your mouth open. If using a metered dose inhaler, hold it about 1 to 1½ inches away from your mouth; start to breathe in slowly while at the same time pressing your index and middle fingers down to release the medicine. If using a dry powder inhaler, on the other hand, put the mouthpiece directly in your mouth, close your lips around it, and inhale quickly. Make sure you get clear instructions from your doctor about how to do this so you do it right.

  4. Breathe in as deeply as you can so that the medicine is carried into your lungs. Then try to hold your breath to give the medicine more of a chance to pass through the passages and be absorbed further into the lungs.

  5. With a metered dose inhaler, purse your lips and exhale slowly. With a dry powder inhaler, take the mouthpiece out of your mouth, purse your lips and exhale slowly. Continue to breathe normally. Wait the prescribed amount of time as instructed by your doctor before taking the next puff if your prescription requires more than one puff at a time.

  6. Rinse your mouth out with mouthwash.

  7. Wash the mouthpiece and cap after each use, or at least once a day, and dry thoroughly before putting the cap back on. Store the inhaler in a safe place. Make sure it is not exposed to the elements or hazardous conditions, which could affect the composition and effectiveness of the medicine, and do not puncture or put near open flame as the canister is pressurized.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions carefully as to the number of doses, timing of dosage, and the precise medication to take. As with other drugs and medicines, do not self-diagnose, self-prescribe (unless you’re a doctor, of course), or overdose. Ensure that you won’t run out of medication. If you use an inhaler regularly, you can estimate when your supply will run out by calculating the prescribed number of doses vs. the number of puffs indicated on the canister. Write the date for when you will need a refill on the canister, as a reminder; before the time is due, make sure you get a refill. If you need an inhaler for emergency or rescue purposes, have a backup spare handy, so you can use the second one when the other is empty; you can then have the empty one refilled in preparation for when the other one runs out. Using inhalers is easy and convenient, and provides quick relief especially in emergency cases. It’s also simpler to administer to children and seniors or adults who have other debilitating problems. Equipped with the knowledge of how to use an inhaler properly, you should get the maximum benefit from your inhaler and find relief or cure for your ailment.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WaysAndHow is an online community of brilliant "how to" article authors who are wholly dedicated in bringing you the best and most in-depth ...

Follow us tweets

  • Knowing how to apply for Medicaid online is probably the best and most convenient ...

  • Student loan is one of the most difficult debts to pay off, largely because you accrue most ...

  • Most people would say that one of the hardest parts in starting a business is getting new ...

whats new

Contact Us


Address: Triple E Holdings Ltd. P.O. Box 23475 Richfield, MN 55423-0475 USA