How to Use a Metered-Dose Inhaler with a Valved Holding Chamber (Spacer)

Proper inhaler device technique is important when taking your medicine(s) and monitoring your breathing. Learn the correct way to use your Metered-Dose Inhaler.

Learn how to use a Metered-Dose Inhaler with a Valved Holding Chamber (spacer).

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How to use a meter dose inhaler with a valved holding chamber, 

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also commonly referred to as a spacer. 

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Check the dose counter on the inhaler. 

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Do not use it if it says zero. Zero means the inhaler is empty 

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and needs to be replaced. 

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Prime a brand new inhaler before using it for the first time. 

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This prepares the inhaler for use.

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Prime the inhaler by shaking it for 10 seconds and spraying two or four puffs into 

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the air based on your medicine instructions. 

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Prime again if you have not used this inhaler for 1 to 2 

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weeks or have dropped it.

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Priming does not waste doses. 

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To take a dose,

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shake the inhaler to mix the medicine. 

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Take the cap off the inhaler and make sure 

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the mouthpiece and valved holding chamber are 

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clean and there's nothing inside the mouthpieces.

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Place the inhaler mouthpiece into the open end of the 

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valved holding chamber. 

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Remove the valved holding chamber mouthpiece cap.

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Prepare your body by sitting or standing up straight. 

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Hold the inhaler with your pointer finger on the top of 

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the inhaler and thumb on the bottom. 

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Tilt head back slightly. 

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Put the mouthpiece of the holding chamber into 

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your mouth, above your tongue. 

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Close your lips tightly around the mouthpiece. 

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Press down on the top of the inhaler once to release the

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medicine and begin to breathe in through your mouth. 

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Keep your lips closed around the mouthpiece. 

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Breathe in for 3 to 5 seconds, using one deep and steady 

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breath to pull the medicine into your lungs. 

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If the holding chamber whistles, you are 

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breathing in too fast. 

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Remove the chamber from your mouth and hold your breath for 

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up to 10 seconds. 

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Breathe out slowly through your mouth. 

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Repeat these steps in one minute 

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if using more than one puff. 

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Rinse your mouth with water and spit it out. 

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Replace the cap and store in a cool dry place. 

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Clean your inhaler chamber spacer according to their package instructions. 

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If you have trouble using the inhaler correctly, ask your 

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pharmacist or doctor for help.


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Page last updated: November 17, 2022

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