Metered dose inhaler use - series

Metered dose inhaler - step one

Remove the cap from the end of the inhaler. Check for any dust, lint, or other objects. Shake the inhaler well.

Metered dose inhaler - step two

Sit up or stand up straight.

Metered dose inhaler - step three

Breathe out all the way.

Metered dose inhaler - step four

Tilt the inhaler up slightly. Put the inhaler in your mouth, between your teeth, with your tongue flat under the mouthpiece and your lips sealed. As you begin to breathe in slowly, press down on the inhaler. Keep breathing in until your lungs are completely full.

Metered dose inhaler - step five

Hold your breath for 10 seconds. If you cannot hold your breath for 10 seconds, hold it as long as you can. If you need another puff of medicine, wait 1 minute, then repeat steps 2 through 5.

Metered dose inhaler - step six

Rinse out your mouth after you take your last puff of medicine.(Note: rinsing is needed only if the medicine you just took was a corticosteroid. Ask your healthcare provider about your inhaler.)

Metered dose inhaler - step seven

Make sure you spit the water out. Do NOT swallow it.

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 01/18/2013
  • Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

         
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