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How do I use a hydrofluoroalkane inhaler for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

ANSWER

These are the general steps for using a hydrofluoroalkane inhaler for COPD:

1. Remove the cap from the hydrofluoroalkane inhaler.

2. Shake the inhaler for a few seconds.

3. Place your index finger on top of the canister and thumb on the bottom of the mouthpiece.

4. Tilt your head back slightly and breathe out.

5. Hold the inhaler upright about the width of two fingers from your mouth.

6. Press down on the inhaler once as you breathe in as slowly and deeply as you can - about 3 to 5 seconds.

7. If possible, hold your breath for at least 10 seconds.

8. If your doctor prescribed more than one puff of COPD medication, wait about 1 minute and repeat steps 2-8.

9. Replace the cap on the metered dose inhaler.

10. Gargle and rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash (usually advised only for steroid-type inhalers).

SOURCES: National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Inhaled Medication With a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)" and "Inhaled Medication With a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI) and Spacer." MedlinePlus: "Encyclopedia: Metered dose inhaler use." WebMD Medical Reference provided in collaboration with The Cleveland Clinic: "Asthma Guide: Using Your Metered Dose Inhalers and Spacers." American Academy of Family Physicians: "Metered-Dose Inhaler: How to Use It Correctly." National Lung Health Education Program" "Devices." WebMD Medical Reference provided in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic: "Dry Powder Inhalers." Healthtouch Online: "How to Use a Dry Powder Inhaler."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on July 25, 2017

SOURCES: National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Inhaled Medication With a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)" and "Inhaled Medication With a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI) and Spacer." MedlinePlus: "Encyclopedia: Metered dose inhaler use." WebMD Medical Reference provided in collaboration with The Cleveland Clinic: "Asthma Guide: Using Your Metered Dose Inhalers and Spacers." American Academy of Family Physicians: "Metered-Dose Inhaler: How to Use It Correctly." National Lung Health Education Program" "Devices." WebMD Medical Reference provided in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic: "Dry Powder Inhalers." Healthtouch Online: "How to Use a Dry Powder Inhaler."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on July 25, 2017

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How do I keep track of how much medication is in my hydrofluoroalkane inhaler for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

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