MDI - No spacer

How to Use a Puffer (Metered-Dose Inhaler) If You Don't Have a Spacer

It is recommended that you use a metered dose inhaler (also known as an "MDI" or "puffer") with a spacer (valved holding chamber).

A spacer is a plastic tube that holds the spray from your puffer (inhaler). You spray your puffer into the spacer, and then slowly inhale the air from the spacer. Using a spacer improves your chances of getting the more medicine into your lungs.

Watch a video on how to use a MDI if you don’t have a spacer

  • Stand up, or sit up with your back straight.
  • Remove the cap from the mouthpiece and shake the inhaler.
  • Breathe out normally.
  • Put the mouthpiece between your teeth, over your tongue. Wrap your lips around the mouthpiece.
  • Take a slow deep breath in. As you start to inhale slowly, press on the inhaler. Keep breathing in until your lungs are full. Now hold your breath for as long as you can, between 5 and 10 seconds.
  • Breathe out normally.
  • If you need a second puff, wait one minute and repeat these steps.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water and spit the water out (don't swallow it). Rinsing your mouth can cut down on some side effects, like a white coating on your tongue (a yeast infection called thrush) or a sore throat
References: 

This content was developed and reviewed by the Lung Association's Certified Respiratory Educators. 

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Page Last Updated: 12/10/2016