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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

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

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

Remove the cap from the spacer.

Hold the inhaler upright: Step 4

Picture of a man holding the inhaler upright

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

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

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

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

Picture of a man holding his breath and looking at his watch to count 10 seconds

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.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKen Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
Last RevisedNovember 29, 2011

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