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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. For some, you need to add the medicine to the inhaler each time you use it. Other dry powder inhalers come with a supply of medicine already in them. But for these, you will need to "load" each dose of medicine each time you use it. How you load a dose depends on the type of inhaler you have.

how.gif  How to use a dry powder inhaler

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By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
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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