A metered-dose inhaler (MDI) is a hand-held device that releases a mist of medicine. It contains a gas that helps the medicine get into your lungs. The inhaler helps send the medicine directly to your lungs as you take a deep breath.
A device called a spacer can be used with the inhaler. A spacer is a special bag or plastic tube attached to the inhaler that holds the medicine while you breathe it in to your lungs.
Several kinds of medicines are available as metered-dose inhalers, including:
When you are using more than 1 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 1 puff, wait 1 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.