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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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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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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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Remove the cap from the spacer.

Hold the inhaler upright: Step 4

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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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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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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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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

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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.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
Last Revised November 29, 2011

Last Revised: November 29, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology

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