Spacer use - series

Spacer use - part one

Spacers (also called holding chambers) work with your metered dose inhaler (MDI) to deliver inhaled medication more easily and effectively. Spacers can also reduce side effects.

Spacers hold the "puff" of medicine between you and the MDI, so that you can inhale it slowly and more completely. As a result, more of the medicine gets into your airways.

Spacer use - part two

First, insert the MDI mouthpiece firmly into the oval opening at the end of the spacer.

Spacer use - part three

Hold your spacer and inhaler together and shake well, at least four or five times.

Spacer use - part four

Place the spacer in your mouth, and close your lips firmly around the mouthpiece.

Spacer use - part five

Keep your body straight and your eyes forward. Exhale around the outside of the spacer's mouthpiece.

Spacer use - part six

Spray one puff of medicine into the spacer, and immediately begin to inhale slowly for three to five seconds, taking a full deep breath.

Spacer use - part seven

Remove the spacer from your mouth. Hold your breath for as long as you can (for up to 10 seconds). Breathe out slowly.

If your doctor has instructed you to take more than one puff of medication, repeat this procedure. Wait at least 15 seconds between puffs.


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Review Date: 1/18/2013

Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.

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