An estimated 90% of patients use their metered dose inhaler incorrectly. Inadequate inhaler technique lowers drug deposition to the lungs, wastes medication and may lead to poor disease control, reduced quality of life, increased emergency hospital admissions and higher treatment costs.
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COMMON INHALER TECHNIQUE MISTAKES:
• Not breathing out first. When you breathe out fully (or as much as you comfortably can) just before taking your inhaler, you create more space in your airways for your next breath in. This means that you can breathe in deeper and for longer when you inhale your asthma medicine - giving it the best chance of reaching the small airways deep inside your lungs, and being most effective.
• Not holding your breath after taking your inhaler. If you've been advised to hold your breath after taking in your inhaler, it's very important to do so. When you hold your breath after inhaling the medicine, you are keeping your airways still. This gives more time for the medicine to get into your lungs. If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, this is ideal but if this isn't possible, you will still benefit by holding it for as long as you feel comfortable.
• Not priming the aerosol inhaler device Aerosol inhalers require priming (so you get the right amount of medicine when you use it) before using for the first time, or if they have not been used for a while - always refer to information leaflet.
• Not shaking your MDI before use and between puffs. If you don't shake the canister, the asthma medicine and propellant (the substance which helps turn the medicine into aerosol form) will not mix together properly and too much or too little of one will be released.
• Inhaling too early before pressing the canister. If you're already half way through breathing in by the time the medicine is released from the inhaler, you won't have enough time to finish breathing in all the medicine because your lungs will already be full. If this happens, some of the medicine will end up being sprayed in your mouth and hitting the back of your throat and not being carried down to your lungs where it's needed.
• Inhaling too late after pressing the canister (unless you're using a spacer). It takes less than half a second from the time the canister is pressed for all the medicine inside the inhaler to be released. If you breathe in after this time, some of the medicine will end up being sprayed in your mouth and not to your lungs where it's needed.
• Not leaving enough time between doses. You need to give your inhaler a good shake between doses and then wait at least 30 to 60 seconds before taking the next puff.
If you're ever unsure about your inhaler technique always double check with your pharmacist, nurse practitioner or GP.
Visit us: Regent Pharmacy, 19 Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent DA12 1AS Tel: 01474 534394
This video is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Abraham The Pharmacist has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Always consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.
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