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How to administer inhalers

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Using Nasal Inhalers

1. Clean the nose by blowing gently and clear the nostrils.

2. With a damp tissue clean the outer portion of the nose. 

3. Wash hands with soap and warm water and dry them.

4. Gently shake the medication container. In case of any doubt, make sure that the nasal inhaler is not empty. Test by removing the metal canister and placing it in a pot of water. The canister will float if it is empty. The canister will sink if it is not empty. Reassemble the inhaler.

5. Sit upright. Keep the head straight. With one finger press one side of the nose to close one nostril. Keep the mouth closed.

6. Remove the cap on the inhaler container.

7. Check to make sure that the inhaler tip is free of any foreign object.

8. Breathe out slowly.

9. Insert the tip of the inhaler into the nostril that is open. Breathe in through the nostril while rapidly but firmly squeezing the inhaler. Press down on the inhaler until the medicine is released.

10. Hold the breath for a few seconds (10 seconds is recommended), and then breathe out slowly through the mouth.

11.Follow the same procedure for the other nostril also, only if recommended to do so.

12. Rinse inhaler tip with hot water and affix the cap back on the container.

13.Wash hands with soap and warm water. 

Using Metered-Dose Inhalers (MDIs)

1. Gently shake the inhaler.

2. Remove cap of the inhaler and hold it upright or as recommended by the doctor.

3. There are three methods of using the Metered-Dose inhalers. The open-mouth method, the close-mouth method, and the spacer method. The spacer method is often preferred. With a spacer more medicine is inhaled directly into the lungs where it is needed. The next favored method is the open-mouth method. When perfected, it leaves less medicine in the mouth and the throat, and more in the lungs. Become familiar with the method used to derive most benefit from the medicine.

4. Slowly breathe out through your mouth.

5. If a spacer is not being used, slowly begin to breathe in through the mouth. While breathing in, press down on the inhaler once to release the medication.

6. If a spacer is used, first press down on the inhaler, then within few seconds begin to breathe in slowly through the mouth.

7. Continue to breathe in slowly and as deeply as is possible.

8. Hold the breath for at least 10 seconds to allow the medication to reach into the lungs.

9. Repeat steps 4 to 8 until the prescribed number of puffs have been inhaled. If quick-relief medication is being used, wait at least 30 seconds between two successive puffs. For other type of inhalers there is no need to wait between puffs.

10. If a steroid based inhaler is used, rinse and gargle with mouth wash or just plain water, and then spit out the water. Do not swallow the water.

11. Affix the cap back on the inhaler, and store it in a cool and dry place, out of reach of children.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: July 23, 2014