How to Use a Metered-Dose Inhaler with a Spacer or Valved Holding Chamber [video]

Make sure the inhaler and spacer are free of foreign objects. Shake the inhaler for 10 seconds to mix the medicine, and remove the cap from the mouthpiece.

Place the inhaler mouthpiece onto the end of the spacer. Hold the inhaler between your index finger and thumb. Stand up and take a deep breath in—then breathe out as much as you can.

Put the end of the spacer into your mouth, between your teeth and above your tongue. Close your lips around the spacer.

Press down on the inhaler to release the spray, and begin to breathe in through your mouth. Breathe in deeply and slowly (for about 5 seconds) to pull the medicine deep into your lungs.

If the spacer makes a whistling sound you inhaled too quickly.

Hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds—or as long as you comfortably can, with your mouth closed.

Breathe out slowly through your mouth. If you breathe out too quickly, the medicine will not settle into your lungs.

Wait one minute before taking a second puff as directed by your healthcare provider. Repeat these steps if taking a second puff.

Rinse your mouth out with water and spit.

Watch this American Lung Association video to learn the correct way to use your metered dose (MDI) asthma inhaler.

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Page last updated: January 27, 2021

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