Use & Care of MDI

Using a metered dose inhaler (MDI) is a good way to take asthma medicines. There are few side effects because the medicine goes right to the lungs and not to other parts of the body. It takes only 5 to 10 minutes for the medicine to have an effect compared to oral asthma medicines, which can take 1 to 3 hours. Inhalers can easily be used by all asthma patients of age 5 and older. A spacer or holding chamber attached to the inhaler can help make taking the medicine easier for even younger children. The inhaler must be cleaned often to prevent buildup that will clog it and reduce its efficiency.

The guidelines that follow will help your patient to use the inhaler the right way. Ask your patient to do the following. Demonstrate the procedure yourself. Improper use of MDI is a major cause of non-response to treatment.

How to use MDI (advice for patient):

Step-1. Remove the cap and hold the inhaler upright.

Step-2. Shake the inhaler.

Step-3. Tilt your head back slightly and breathe out

Step-4. Use the inhaler in any one of these ways :

A. Open mouth with inhaler 1 to 2 inches away.

B. Use through spacer

C. Place the mouthpiece of the inhaler in between lips

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Step-5. Press down the inhaler to release the medicine and start to breathe in slowly.

Step-6. Breathe in slowly for 3 to 5 seconds.

Step-7. Hold your breath for 10 seconds to allow the medicine to reach deeply into your lungs.

Step-8. Repeat puffs as prescribed. Wait 1 minute between puffs.

Dry powder capsules are used differently. To use a dry powder inhaler (DPI), close your mouth tightly around the mouthpiece and inhale very fast.

Cleaning

Once a week remove the canister and wash the plastic actuator with mild dishwashing soap and warm water. Rinse and dry well before use.

Checking How Much Medicine is left in the Caniste

If the canister is new, it is full.

An easy way to check the amount of medicine left in a metered dose inhaler is to place the canister in a container of water and observe the position it takes in the water. The part of the canister above the water level is empty.

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