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How to use the puffer (or metered dose inhaler)

A puffer is also known as a metered dose inhaler, or an aerosol.


In the puffer, the medicine is stored under pressure in the metal canister. When the puffer is fired, a fine mist of the medicine is produced that can be inhaled into the lungs. These devices work best with spacers or holding chambers (see the following section on puffers and spacers).

NOTE: It is recommended a puffer be used with a spacer to get the most medicine into your lungs. However, if one is not available, this is how to use it alone.

1. Remove the cap.
2. Hold the puffer upright and shake vigorously.
3. Raise your chin and look straight ahead.
4. Breathe out gently and fully (facing away from the inhaler).

5. Place the puffer mouthpiece between your teeth and form a seal with your lips.
6. As you slowly start to breathe in, fire the canister by pressing firmly and continue to breathe in deeply.
7. Remove the canister from your mouth and hold your breath for 10 seconds, if possible.
8. Breathe out gently.
9. If you need to deliver two doses of your medicine, wait 30 to 60 seconds between doses and repeat steps 2 to 8.
10. Replace cap.