Request Appointment

Using an Inhaler

Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine that you breathe in using a metered-dose inhaler (MDI). An inhaler sends a measured amount of medicine in a fine mist.

Step 1:

  • Shake the inhaler and remove the cap.

  • Take a deep breath and let it out.

Step 2:

  • Close your lips around the end of the inhaler mouthpiece. Or if you were told to use the "open-mouth" method, hold the inhaler 1 to 2 inches from your mouth.

Step 3:

  • Breathe in slowly and deeply as you press down on the inhaler to release the medication.

  • Inhale fully.

Step 4:

  • Hold your breath for a count of 10.

  • Then breathe out slowly through your mouth.

  • Repeat these steps for each puff of medicine prescribed.


Five steps in using metered-dose inhaler without a spacer.



  • If the inhaler is being used for the first time or has not been used for a while, prime it as directed by the product maker. You can find important information about the medicine in the package insert. This is the paper that comes with the medicine.

  • If you use more than one inhaler, make sure you know which one to use first.

  • Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can show you how to use your inhaler the right way. Even if you think you are using it the right way, it is still a good idea to check.


Was this helpful?

Yes No

Tell us more.

Check all that apply.

Last question: How confident are you filling out medical forms by yourself?

Not at all A little Somewhat Quite a bit Extremely

Thank You!

Discrimination is Against the Law. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws. We do not discriminate against, exclude or treat people differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.
 Visit Other Fairview Sites 
(c) 2012 Fairview Health Services. All rights reserved.