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How To Use: Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)

image - North Texas Allergy & Asthma Associates

The metered-dose inhaler (MDI) is a canister of medication that releases a medicated mist. You inhale the mist into the airways of the lungs. The MDI can be used alone, but usually it works better if it is used with a spacer device.

What kinds of medicines are available as a MDI?

Several different types of medicines are available as MDIs, including:

Medications that dilate the airway

Medications that reduce inflammation

Medications that control the inflammatory cells

How do I use an MDI?

There are several ways to use an MDI. If you are not using a spacer, the technique most often recommended is as follows:

Shake the MDI vigorously.

Hold the MDI upright so the mouthpiece is at the bottom.

Hold the mouthpiece 1-and-1/2 to 2 inches in front of an open mouth (about 2 to 3 finger widths).

Breathe out normally.

Press the MDI down once so it releases a spray of medicine into the mouth while you breathe in slowly (one spray is often called a puff).

Continue breathing in as slowly and deeply as possible.

Hold the breath for 10 seconds or as long as is comfortable (this gives the medicine time to reach the small airways).

  Breathe out slowly.

After taking a few normal breaths, repeat steps 1 through 8 for another inhalation (puff) if required. Take the number of puffs prescribed by our office.