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Breathing Problems: Using a Dry Powder Inhaler

People who have asthma or other lung diseases that make it hard to breathe may use an inhaler to get the medicine they need into their lungs. Inhaled medicine works faster than the same medicine in a pill. An inhaler also lets you take less medicine than you would if you took it as a pill.

You may have used a metered-dose inhaler in the past. But a dry powder inhaler is different. These instructions are for using a dry powder inhaler.

  • A dry powder inhaler lets you breathe medicine into your lungs quickly.
  • A dry powder inhaler is breath-activated. This means that when you breathe in through the inhaler, the inhaler releases the medicine into your lungs.
  • Dry powder inhalers come in different shapes and sizes. Some come with the medicine already loaded inside the inhaler. With other inhalers, you have to put in the medicine right before you use it. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how to load the medicine into your inhaler.

what.gif  What is a dry powder inhaler?
why.gif Why should I use a dry powder inhaler?
how.gif How to use a dry powder inhaler
where.gif Where to go from here

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By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
Last Revised February 19, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 19, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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