Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI) with Spacer


Metered dose inhalers have been available for a long time. They are effective tools for delivering asthma medications. Side effects are usually minimal because the medicine goes directly into your lungs.

The spacer is a holding chamber that attaches to the inhaler. It  holds the medicine long enough for you to inhale the medicine slowly, making it more effective.

How to use an inhaler spacer

To use an inhaler with a spacer and mouthpiece, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the cap of the inhaler and hold upright.
  2. Shake the inhaler to mix the medicine before using.
  3. Attach the inhaler to the spacer.
  4. First cough and clear, then inhale and breathe out.
  5. Tilt your head slightly back and place the mouthpiece in your mouth.
  6. Press down on the inhaler to release one puff of medicine into the spacer.
  7. Breathe in slowly through your mouth over 3 to 5 seconds.
  8. Hold your breath for 10 seconds to allow the medicine to reach far into the lungs, then breathe out slowly through your nose.
  9. If two puffs have been prescribed, wait one minute before taking the second puff.

Cleaning the spacer

Remove the inhaler from spacer and recap. If you are able, remove the end from the spacer and place parts in warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry on a clean paper towel.

Last Edited: December 13, 2016
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