Dry powder asthma inhalers have a various types of delivery systems. The instructions on this page are for general information only. Always follow the directions that come with the specific inhaler you use. Your doctor should teach you how to use the inhaler correctly.
How to use a dry powder inhaler for asthma:
- Remove cap and hold inhaler upright.
- Load a dose into the device as directed.
- Hold your inhaler upright with the mouthpiece on the bottom.
- Tilt your head back slightly and breathe out.
- Close your mouth tightly around the inhaler; do not block the inhaler with your tongue.
- Breathe in quickly (over 2 to 3 seconds) and deeply.
- Hold breath for 10 seconds to allow the medication to get deeply into your lungs.
- Exhale slowly through your nose or mouth.
- Repeat puffs as directed. Wait 1 minute between puffs; it is very important to wait!
- Replace the cap on your DPI.
- Store in a clean, sealed plastic bag.
Rinse your mouth after each use to help prevent the development of a yeast infection in the mouth which can occur when steroid medications become deposited in the mouth. If you taste a grittiness or sandiness in the mouth after use that means you may not have used the inhaler correctly.
How to maintain a dry powder inhaler:
Clean the mouthpiece at least once a week with a dry cloth.
Written by Karen Serrano, MD
Emergency Medicine resident at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Reviewed by Lisa V. Suffian, MD
Instructor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Allergy and Pulmonary Medicine at Saint Louis Children's Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine
Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, Saint Louis University
Board certified in Allergy and Immunology
Last updated June 2008