Inhaled asthma medications are often delivered by using a device called a metered dose inhaler, or MDI. A metered dose inhaler (MDI) is a small aerosol canister full of medication that fits into a plastic mouthpiece. A dose of medicine is released by pressing down on the canister. An AeroChamber is a plastic tube used to hold medication after it is released from the inhaler, making it easier to inhale a full dose. You have important steps to follow when using an AeroChamber with your metered dose inhaler.
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Open the MDI and AeroChamber packages then carefully examine the products for damage, missing parts or foreign objects. According to Drugs.com, the product should be replaced immediately if there are any damaged or missing parts. Check the expiration date on both products then read the instructions that came with your inhaler and AeroChamber before you use them.
Remove the plastic protective cap on the mouthpiece of the metered dose inhaler (MDI) and hold the container upright. Shake the inhaler well before each use, at least three to four times, to mix the contents in the MDI canister. Insert the MDI into the opening on the rubber-sealed end of the AeroChamber then press firmly to form a tight seal around the inhaler.
Remove the protective cover from the AeroChamber mouthpiece and put the mouthpiece into your mouth. Tighten your lips around the mouthpiece to ensure an effective seal. Elevate the MDI end slightly above level to move the medicine into position at the inhaler mouthpiece.
Breathe out as much air as possible then press down firmly on the MDI canister to release one dose of medicine as you start to inhale slowly. Breathe in deeply through your mouth at a slow and steady pace until you have taken in a full breath. A low-pitched whistling sound indicates that you are breathing in too rapidly and you should inhale more slowly.
Hold your breath for as long as possible, ideally up to 10 seconds, to reach maximum inhalation levels. This allows the medication time to deposit in your airways and reach your lungs. According to Forest Pharmaceuticals, the makers of the AeroChamber, you should keep your lips tightly sealed around the mouthpiece, up to three breaths after the MDI canister has been depressed, if you are unable to hold your breath for the recommended 10 seconds.
Remove the AeroChamber mouthpiece from your mouth and resume normal breathing. Check the prescription label on your MDI and AeroChamber containers to verify how many inhalations of medicine you your physician said you must take. Repeat these steps if your physician or lung specialist prescribed more than one inhalation.
Tips and warnings
- Wash your mouth out with water after using an inhaler to prevent side affects, such as bad taste and fungal infections.
- Administer only one puff of medication at a time to avoid an overdose of medicine.
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