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

Shake the inhaler and remove its cap: Step 1

Person shaking inhaler, then taking cap off inhaler mouthpiece.
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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 do it.

Place the mouthpiece into the spacer: Step 2

Person putting mouthpiece of meter-dose inhaler into end of 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 end of spacer.

Remove the spacer cap: Step 3

Person removing cap from end of inhaler opposite where inhaler was inserted.
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slide 3 of 8, Remove the spacer cap: Step 3,

Remove the cap from the end of the spacer.

Hold the inhaler upright: Step 4

Person holding inhaler and spacer so that inhaler mouthpiece is at bottom.
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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

Person tilting head back slightly, holding up spacer near mouth, and slowly breathing out.
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slide 5 of 8, Breathe out slowly and completely: Step 5,

Stand or sit up straight. Tilt your head back slightly and breathe out slowly and completely.

Place the spacer's mouthpiece: Step 6

Person placing spacer mouthpiece into 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

Person pressing down on inhaler to release medicine into spacer, then breathing in.
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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 and deeply. (Press first, then breathe in.)

Wait for 10 seconds: Step 8

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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. Then breathe out slowly.

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

Current as of: July 6, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:

E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine

Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine

Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine

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