A metered-dose inhaler (MDI) is a hand-held device that releases a mist of medicine. Metered dose inhalers contain a gas that helps the medicine get into your child’s lungs. Inhalers help send the medicine directly to your child’s lungs as he takes a deep breath.
A device called a spacer can be used with the inhaler. A spacer is a special bag or plastic tube that is attached to the inhaler. Spacers help when it is hard to press the inhaler at the same time that you breathe in the medicine. The spacer holds medicine in the bag or tube and:
Spacers can be used with or without a mask. Some spacers are made for just one type of inhaler.
Several kinds of medicines are available as metered-dose inhalers, including:
When you are using more than one type of inhaler, you will usually use the bronchodilator first.
There are several ways to use an inhaler. Talk with your provider or pharmacist about this.
If you need to take more than one puff, wait one minute before taking the next dose. Shake the medicine again and repeat steps 3 through 8 for another puff. Take the number of puffs prescribed by your healthcare provider.
If you are taking an inhaled steroid medicine rinse your mouth with water after the last dose and spit the water out.
Wash the plastic case for the inhaler once a week with soapy tap water. Rinse well and let the parts air dry.
Do not store your inhaler in places that may get very hot or cold (like a car).