Have you ever wondered if you use the inhaler correctly? You first click on the inhaler button, and then inhale the medicine or vice versa?

Do not worry! A lot of people doubt how to properly use the inhaler, taking it for the first time in the hands. The inhaler is the most effective way of rapidly injecting medication into the body, suffering from asthma and other lung diseases. If you or a person close to you have asthma, it is very important to know as much as possible about inhalers, including how to use it properly.

What is an inhaler?

The inhaler is a pocket device that injects the medicine directly into the lungs. Of course, you can take the medicine orally or intravenously, but the inhaler injects the medicine directly into the lungs and helps stop the exacerbation of asthma symptoms much more quickly and with fewer side effects.

How does the medicine get into the lungs?

The drug enters the lungs using an inhaler in several ways:

  • Dosing inhaler. The drug enters the lungs through a small aerosol filter carton. When you press on the inhaler, the medicine enters your mouth without irritating the mucous membrane, and you inhale it.
  • Dry inhaler. When using a dry inhaler, you need to breathe deeply into the lungs. These inhalers use a little more difficult, especially during an asthma attack, when you have difficulty breathing and lack of air. Therefore, carefully read the instructions for each dry inhaler, since they are very different from each other. The method of use to which you have adapted can be approached to one inhaler and not to approach another.

What medications are used in inhalers?

Medications that are used in inhalers include anti-inflammatory drugs (steroids, for example, prednisone), bronchodilators (beta-2 agonist), or both (combined inhalers).

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Inhalers with anti-inflammatory drugs. Anti-inflammatory medications used in inhalers help prevent asthma attacks and reduce swelling and excessive mucus formation in the airways. These drugs allow asthmatics to better control the course of the disease. The anti-inflammatory drugs include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Mast cell stabilizers that prevent an allergic reaction

Inhalers with bronchodilator. The bronchodilator can be of short or long duration. They are used to relieve asthma symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath and cough. Inhaled bronchodilators open and expand the airways, acting much faster than oral medications. The bronchodilators used in inhalers include:

  • A fast-acting beta-agonist, including albuterol, Alupent, Maxair, Xopenex
  • Long-acting beta-agonist
  • Inhalers, containing and albuterol, and ipratropium (anticholinergic bronchodilator). The combination of albuterol and ipratropium can also be used in aerosols.
Bronchodilators: a remedy for acute Asthma symptoms
Bronchodilators: a remedy for acute Asthma symptoms

How do you know that there is still a medicine in the inhaler?

Most of the inhalers have a built-in counter. With the rest, there may be some difficulty in determining the remainder of the medication in the inhaler. Most asthmatics will tell you about their experience with inhalers: they believe that there is no more medicine when there is no longer a “puff” sound when pressed. But the problem is that many inhalers can produce a similar sound for a long time after the drug has ended. You can use the inhaler correctly and hear the “puff” sound during the injection, but the inhaler can be completely empty. And this is a serious problem when you depend on medications that prevent asthma attacks.

The best way to find out if there is another medicine in the inhaler, which does not have a counter, is to mark the number of doses used by the inhaler and shake the inhaler after each “puff” sound. The number of possible doses contained in the inhaler is usually indicated on the inhaler itself or the filter box. Indicate the approximate date on the calendar when the medication in the inhaler should end, and try to buy a new one before this date. Keep an extra one or two inhalers at home. Carefully read the instructions that are attached to the inhaler. Some inhalers must be shaken before use, others need to be pumped several times after prolonged stagnation.

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When is the separator used with the inhaler?

A separator is a tube that is attached to an inhaler and holds the medicine until you inhale it. This simplifies the use of the inhaler and helps to inject the medication into the lungs more efficiently. Not all inhalers should be used together with the separator, so consult an apothecary. There are times when metered-dose inhalers and conventional inhalers can be used without a separator. Your doctor will advise which method is best for you.

Separators with a mask are usually necessary for children or someone who can not properly inhale with a traditional separator that is attached to an inhaler.


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How to use Inhaler correctly for Asthma
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