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How to Use a Metered Dose Inhaler With a Spacer


Updated: December 5, 2006

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Get to Know Your MDI
Photo courtesy of A.D.A.M.

Metered Dose Inhaler with a Spacer

It's essential that you know how to use your metered dose inhaler and spacer correctly. If you don't practice the correct technique, then you could end up not getting your full dose of medicine. When that happens, you might notice your asthma control is not where it should be.

Using a spacer increases your chances of getting the right amount of medicine, but the right technique is still important. The steps in this tutorial will help you get the most out of your metered dose inhaler.

Break It Down

First, you need to understand the different parts of your metered dose inhaler. Depending on the type of medicine your doctor has prescribed, your inhaler may or may not look exactly like the one pictured on the pages of this tutorial. However, all metered dose inhalers contain these main parts:

  • Metal canister that contains your medicine
  • Plastic tube called a mouthpiece
  • Plastic cap that fits over the end of the mouthpiece

The canister has a pointy tip that fits into a hole in the mouthpiece. When you press down on the end of the canister, it's like pushing down on the tip of a spray can. Medicine sprays out through the mouthpiece.

A spacer is an extra plastic tube that fits on the end of the mouthpiece. It holds the asthma medicine that is released from the canister briefly, so that you have a better chance of inhaling it properly.

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  4. Control & Prevention
  5. Asthma Treatment
  6. Metered Dose Inhalers
  7. How to Use a Metered Dose Asthma Inhaler With a Spacer

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