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Using a Dry Powder Inhaler

Using a Dry Powder Inhaler

Check your medicine: Step 1

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Check that you have the correct medicine. If you use several inhalers, put a label on each one so that you know which one to use at the right time.

Remove the cap: Step 2

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Remove the cap from the inhaler.

Load the inhaler: Step 3

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Load a dose of medicine into the inhaler as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. If your inhaler already has the medicine loaded, skip to step 4. Your inhaler may look different from the one pictured.

Breathe out completely: Step 4

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Tilt your head back a little, and breathe out slowly and completely. Hold the inhaler away from your mouth when you breathe out. Do not breathe out into the inhaler. This can blow some of the powder out of the inhaler. Also, the moisture in your breath can cause the dry powder to clump together and clog the inhaler.

Place the inhaler in your mouth: Step 5

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Place the inhaler in your mouth, and close your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.

Inhale: Step 6

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Inhale quickly and deeply through your mouth for 2 or 3 seconds. This pulls the powder from the inhaler into your lungs. After you have inhaled the powder, take the inhaler out of your mouth.

Hold your breath: Step 7

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Hold your breath for 10 seconds. This will let the medicine settle in your lungs. Then slowly breathe out through pursed lips.

Rinse your mouth: Step 8

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If you are using an inhaler with corticosteroid medicine, gargle and rinse out your mouth with water after you use the inhaler. Do not swallow the water.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
Last Revised November 29, 2011

Last Revised: November 29, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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