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Using Dry-Powder Inhalers (DPIs)

Medications help you to control asthma. Some medications are inhaled using a device called an inhaler. The inhaler helps you take a measured dose of medication into your lungs. Dry-powder inhalers (DPIs) use tiny grains of powder to dispense medication. DPIs often have counters that track how many doses you use. 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 come 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. Also, be sure to close the inhaler and store it in a dry place.

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

Online Medical Reviewer: Berry, Judith, PhD, APRN
Online Medical Reviewer: Hanrahan, John, MD
Last Review Date: 11/20/2012
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