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Treatment Options


Inhalers

An inhaler is a hand-held device that delivers a measured amount of medicine to be breathed into the lungs. A metered dose inhaler (MDI) dispenses medicine as a mist. A dry powder inhaler (DPI) dispenses medicine in powder form. If you use more than one kind of inhaled medicine at a time, the quick-acting bronchodilator (such as albuterol) should be taken first to open the airways. This helps the other medicines go deeper into the lungs, so they will work better. Different types inhalers (nebulizers) work best for different medicines ... and different patients. Learn more about the types of nebulizers with this helpful guide.

germ control secondary diseases treatment options standard tests When you first get an inhaler, determine how long it will last by dividing the total number of puffs in the canister by the number of puffs you expect to take daily. Write the expected discard date on the canister.

Using a Holding Chamber or Spacer With an Inhaler

A holding chamber or spacer helps a child use a metered dose inhaler (MDI). A spacer holds medicine in a chamber long enough for the person to inhale slowly, so that the medicine dos not wind up on the tongue, the back of the throat or in the air.

Follow these steps:
  1. Remove the cap and hold the inhaler upright
  2. Attach the inhaler to the end of the spacer
  3. Shake the inhaler and spacer
  4. Tilt your head back slightly and breathe out
  5. Place your lips over the end of the spacer opposite the inhaler
  6. Press the canister down to deliver a dose from the inhaler into the spacer and slowly suck the medicine in through your mouth
  7. Hold your breath for 10 seconds (or as long as you can), then breathe out slowly through your nose
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for each puff your doctor prescribes
  9. Wait one minute before taking the next puff, so the medicine in the next puffs will go deeper into your lungs
To maintain your inhaler and spacer, remove the canister from the inhaler device. Rinse the spacer, inhaler device and cap in warm running water once a day. Let them air dry before you use them again. Do not rinse the medicine canister.

Using a Dry Powder Inhaler (Diskus)

Follow these steps when using a Diskus dry powder inhaler
  1. Hold the Diskus in one hand. Push back the thumbgrip as far as it will go, until the mouthpiece appears and snaps into place.
  2. Hold the Diskus level. With the mouthpiece towards you. Side the lever all the way until it clicks. (Note: The dose counter now indicates a ready dose. Keep the lever still to avoid wasting a dose.)
  3. Turn your head away from the Diskus and breathe out completely.
  4. Put the mouthpiece between your lips. Breathe in steadily and deeply.
  5. Remove the Diskus from your mouth.
  6. Hold your breath for 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly.
  7. Repeat if instructed by your doctor.
  8. Close the Diskus by sliding the thumbgrip back as far as it will go. The Diskus will click shut, and the lever will be reset.
  9. Rinse your mouth and spit without swallowing.
Caring for a Diskus
  • Never exhale into the Diskus or try to take it apart
  • Keep it level when using it
  • Never wash the mouthpiece or any part of it
  • Store at room temperature in a dry place away from direct heat and sunlight
  • Throw it away two months after removing it from the foil wrap, or when it is empty (whichever comes first.)
The dose indicator on top tells how doses are left. After 55 does, the red numbers 5 to 0 show that it's almost empty.

Using a Dry Powder Inhaler (Turbuhaler)

Priming

A new Turbuhaler should be primed once before its first use. (No further priming is needed, even if it is unused for a long time.) Follow these steps.
  1. Turn the cover and lift it off.
  2. Hold the Tubuhaler upright, with the mouthpiece up.
  3. Twist the brown grip fully to the right and back again to the left.
  4. Repeat. Now it is ready for use.
Using a Turbuhaler
  1. Twist the cover and lift it off. Hold the Turbuhaler upright, with the mouthpiece up.
  2. Twist the brown grip to the right as far as it will go, then back to the left until it clicks.
  3. Turn your head away from the Turbuhaler and breathe out completely. (Note: Do not shake or exhale into it.)
  4. Put the mouthpiece between your lips and inhale deeply and forcefully to fill your lungs.
  5. Remove the Turbuhaler from your mouth.
  6. Hold your breath for 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly.
  7. Repeat steps 2 through 6, if instructed.
  8. When finished, replace the cover and twist shut.
  9. Rinse your mouth and spit without swallowing.
Store the Turbuhaler in a dry place away from direct heat and sunlight. Throw it out by the date shown on the inhaler, or when it is empty (whichever comes first.) A new Turbuhaler has 200 doses. When you see a red mark at the top of the dose indicator window (below the mouthpiece) there are 20 doses left.

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