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Using Dry-Powder Inhalers (DPIs)

Some asthma medications are inhaled using inhalers. Dry-powder inhalers (DPIs) dispense measured doses of powdered medication into your lungs. DPIs often have counters to track the number of doses used. Keep in mind that DPIs don’t all work the same way. So be sure you know how to use yours properly.

Using a DPI

  1. Load the prescribed dose of medication by following the instructions that came with the inhaler.

  2. Breathe out normally, holding the inhaler away from your mouth. Hold your chin up.

  3. Put the mouthpiece between your lips. Breathe in deeply through the inhaler—not through your nose. You may not feel or taste the medication as you breathe in. This is normal.

  4. Take the mouthpiece out of your mouth. Hold your breath for a count of 10.

  5. Breathe out slowly—but do not breathe out through the inhaler. Moisture from your breath can make the powder stick inside the inhaler.

  6. Be sure to close the inhaler and store it in a dry place.

  7. Rinse your mouth with water and spit it out, don't swallow it.

  8. Do not wash your DPI with soap and water. To clean the mouthpiece, wipe with a dry cloth as needed.

Online Medical Reviewer: Akin, Louise, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth, RN, M.Ed.
Last Review Date: 5/19/2014
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