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Using a metered-dose inhaler with a spacer (Adult)

Shake the inhaler and remove its cap: Step 1

 Picture of a man removing the cap from an inhaler
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slide 1 of 8, Shake the inhaler and remove its cap: Step 1,

Shake the inhaler and remove the inhaler cap. Check the inhaler instructions to see if you need to prime your inhaler before you use it. If it needs priming, follow the instructions on how to prime your inhaler.

Place the mouthpiece into the spacer: Step 2

 Picture of a man putting the inhaler mouthpiece into the spacer
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slide 2 of 8, Place the mouthpiece into the spacer: Step 2,

Place the mouthpiece of the inhaler into the spacer.

Remove the spacer cap: Step 3

 Picture of a man removing the cap from the spacer
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slide 3 of 8, Remove the spacer cap: Step 3,

Remove the cap from the spacer.

Hold the inhaler upright: Step 4

 Picture of a man holding the inhaler upright
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slide 4 of 8, Hold the inhaler upright: Step 4,

Hold the inhaler upright with the mouthpiece at the bottom.

Breathe out slowly and completely: Step 5

 Picture of a man tilting his head back slightly and breathing out
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slide 5 of 8, Breathe out slowly and completely: Step 5,

Tilt your head back slightly and breathe out slowly and completely.

Place the spacer's mouthpiece: Step 6

 Picture of a man placing the spacer mouthpiece in his mouth
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slide 6 of 8, Place the spacer's mouthpiece: Step 6,

Place the spacer's mouthpiece in your mouth.

Press down on the inhaler and breathe in: Step 7

 Picture of a man pressing down on the inhaler
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slide 7 of 8, Press down on the inhaler and breathe in: Step 7,

Press down on the inhaler to spray one puff of medicine into the spacer and then start breathing in slowly (press first, then breathe in).

Wait for 10 seconds: Step 8

 Picture of a man holding his breath and looking at his watch to count 10 seconds
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slide 8 of 8, Wait for 10 seconds: Step 8,

Hold your breath for 10 seconds, to give the medicine time to settle in your lungs.

If you need to take a second dose, wait 30 to 60 seconds to allow the inhaler valve to refill.

Current as ofSeptember 5, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine


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