7 Steps for good inhaler technique

21 Jul 2023

1 Prepare the inhaler device

What did you do with the cap on the mouthpiece? How were you holding the inhaler? Did you hold it upright?

2 Prepare or load the dose

What did you do with the inhaler before using it? For aerosol devices, did you shake the inhaler? How did you load the dose?

3 Breathe out gently as far as is comfortable, not into the inhaler

What did you do with your breath just before using the inhaler? Did you breathe out first?

4 Tilt the chin up slightly and put the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips around it

Were your lips closed around the mouthpiece? Was your chin slightly tilted up?

5 Breathe in: Slowly and steadily over 3 to 5 seconds for aerosol type devices or Quickly and Deeply over 1-2 seconds for dry powder type devices

When you used the inhaler did you breathe in through your mouth or nose? When you breathed in from the inhaler, how many seconds did you breathe in for? Can you breathe in for me as you would when using the inhaler? Listen to make sure it is slow and steady over 3-5 seconds.

6 Remove the inhaler from your mouth and hold your breath for up to 10 seconds or as long as possible

What did you do after inhaling through the device? Did you hold your breath and if so for how long?

7 Wait a few seconds then repeat steps 1-6 for a second dose, if needed, Close inhaler/replace lid

Do you always put the mouthpiece cover back on after use? This is important to stop things getting into the mouthpiece and you accidently breathing them in.

Resource information

Respiratory conditions
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Respiratory Disease
  • COPD
Respiratory topics
  • Disease management
  • Inhalers
Type of resource
  • Asthma Right Care
  • COPD Right Care
Taskforce for Lung Health
Right Care
  • Asthma
  • COPD
Strategic Objective
  • Management
  • Clinical Education
  • Patient Education

Right Care information