Dry powder inhalers come in many forms: the Turbuhaler (budesonide Pulmicort), Diskhaler (fluticasone propionate Flovent) and the Diskus (salmeterol and salmeterol/fluticasone Serevent and Advair). These devices are different because they are driven by your inhalation, not a propellant as in aerosol inhalers.
Once the device is loaded with medication, the basic technique for using a dry powder inhaler is simply to take a deep, forceful breath. The powder doses are contained in blister packs. When you load the dose, the blister pack is punctured, releasing the medicine into the device. Then when you inhale through the mouthpiece, you inhale the powder into your lungs.
Some people find an inhaler of this type simpler to use than one with an aerosol delivery system. A dry powder inhaler is just as effective as an aerosol inhaler.
To use a dry powder inhaler:
- First, carefully review the directions of the package insert. You may or may not have to start by inserting the blister pack into the inhaler device.
- Next, find out how to load your dose. Each dry powdered inhaler has a different way to puncture the blister pack by twisting the inhaler or by pulling a trigger. Usually, you hear some form of a click. Also make a note of the position of the inhaler in the instructions you need to keep the inhaler in a certain position while you load the dose and afterwards (usually upright or horizontal).
- Exhale, facing away from the inhaler. Don't blow or exhale into the device.
- Keeping the inhaler in the correct position, put the mouthpiece between your lips, behind your front teeth. Inhale deeply and forcefully.
- If more than one dose is prescribed, repeat the above steps.
- If you are using an inhaler with corticosteroids, rinse your mouth with water and spit out. Do not swallow. This prevents thrush from developing at the back of the throat.
Last updated December 03, 2008