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How to Use a Nebulizer

Learn how to properly use a nebulizer to take your COPD or asthma medication with the American Lung Association. The nebulizer educational videos are supported by Mylan Specialty, L.P.

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Many people with chronic lung diseases such as COPD or asthma use a nebulizer to take their medication in the form of a mist that is inhaled into the lungs.

Nebulizers are often recommended for patients who have a hard time using inhalers because of health issues or not being able to inhale deeply enough for other devices.

A nebulizer has five basic parts. A medicine cup.

A top piece or cap to attach to a mouthpiece or mask to the medicine cup. With your healthcare provider, you can decide which type of mouthpiece works best for you.

Thin plastic tubing to connect the mouthpiece to the machine; And an air machine called a compressor.

To use your nebulizer, first place the air machine where it can safely reach a power source and away from any water.

With clean hands, take the medicine as prescribed by your healthcare provider and pour it into the medicine cup.

Attach the top piece to the medicine cup and then the mouthpiece or mask.

Connect the tubing from the compressor to the medicine cup.

Put the mouthpiece in your mouth between your teeth and close your lips tightly around it.

Turn on your compressor.

Hold the nebulizer in an upright position to prevent spilling and to ensure the medication is correctly distributed.

Take slow, deep breaths in through your mouth so that the medicine can get deep into your lungs.

Continue until all of the medicine is gone from the cup.

For more demonstration videos and information on cleaning and caring for your nebulizer, visit the American Lung Association's website at

    Page Last Updated: May 16, 2018

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