The metered-dose inhaler (MDI) is a container of medicine that releases a mist of medicine. Your child inhales the mist through his mouth into the airways of his lungs.
Metered dose inhalers contain a gas that helps the medicine get into your lungs. Inhalers used to contain CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) gas, which is harmful to the environment. A different gas is now used in inhalers. The spray comes out with less force, is warmer, and has a slightly different taste. It is not felt as much in the throat when inhaled, but your child still gets the right amount of medicine.
The inhaler can be used alone, but it is highly recommended that your child use a spacer or valved holding device attached to the inhaler.
Several different types of medicines are available as metered-dose inhalers, including:
When a child is using more than one type of inhaler, he will usually use the bronchodilator first.
There are several ways to use an inhaler. If no spacer is available, the technique most often recommended is as follows:
After your child takes a few normal breaths, shake the medicine again and repeat steps 3 through 8 for another inhalation (puff) if required. Take the number of puffs prescribed by your healthcare provider.
If your child is taking a inhaled steroid medicine, have him rinse his mouth with water after the last dose and spit the water out.
Wash the plastic case for the inhaler once a week with soapy tap water. Rinse well and let the parts air dry.
Do not store your child’s inhaler in places that may get very hot or cold (like a car).