A metered-dose inhaler (MDI) is a hand-held device that releases a mist of medicine. Metered dose inhalers contain a gas that helps the medicine get into your child’s lungs. Inhalers help send the medicine directly to your child’s lungs as he takes a deep breath.
A device called a spacer can be used with the inhaler. A spacer is a special bag or plastic tube that is attached to the inhaler. Spacers help when it is hard to press the inhaler at the same time that your child breathes in the medicine. The spacer holds medicine in the bag or tube and:
Spacers can be used with or without a mask. Some spacers are made for just one type of inhaler.
Several kinds of medicines are available as metered-dose inhalers, including:
When a child is using more than one type of inhaler, he will usually use the bronchodilator first.
There are several ways to use inhalers. Talk with your provider or pharmacist about this.
If your child needs to take more than one puff, wait one minute before taking the next dose. Shake the medicine again and repeat steps 3 through 8 for another puff. Take the number of puffs prescribed by your healthcare provider.
If your child is taking an inhaled steroid medicine, have him rinse his mouth with water after the last dose and spit the water out.
Wash the plastic case for the inhaler once a week with soapy tap water. Rinse well. Let the parts air dry.
Do not store your child’s inhaler in places that may get very hot or cold, like in a car.