Friday, March 21, 2014

How Can Meter Dose Inhalers Work

How Do Meter Dose Inhalers Work?

The metered dose inhaler is also called a puffer or aerosol inhaler. People suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma and other respiratory problems find that the small canisters make delivery of the prescribed drug convenient as it's easy to carry with them, so it is always available when the need arises.

How the Metered Dose Inhaler Works

The metered dose inhaler is made up of a metal canister that holds the prescribed medication, a plastic holder that includes a mouthpiece, and a metering valve. Optional spacers are available if the medication seems to be sprayed to the back of the throat rather than inhaled into the lungs where the medication does its work.

The medication is released by a propellant such as hydrofluoroalkane. It delivers a slow mist, which is delivered deep into airways where it is deposited.

The metering valve ensures that the proper dose of medication is released from the pressurized canister each time it is used

Use the Metered Dose Inhaler

When used correctly, the proper dose of medication is delivered deep into the airways.

Remove the cap from the mouthpiece of the inhaler. Hold the inhaler with the mouthpiece at the bottom and shake to properly mix the medication.

If no spacer is being used, hold the mouthpiece about two inches in front of your mouth so that when you release the mist, you can inhale it slowly.

Lift your chin to open your airways and gently breathe out. When you are ready for another breath, press the canister at the same time you begin a slow, deep inhaling breath. It should take you 3 to 5 seconds to inhale the mist to make sure you are getting it into your lungs.

Hold your breath for 10 seconds to give the medication a chance to settle in your airways.

Some doses require more than one puff. Wait 30 seconds before the next medicated inhalation.

Tricks to Make Sure You're Doing it Right

If the proper technique is not used, you won't get the proper dose of medication. If the spray ends up in your mouth or the back of the throat, it can cause irritation.

To make sure you're following the proper procedure, practice before a mirror. There should be no mist coming from your nostrils, the top of the inhaler or the sides of your mouth.

If you're still not sure about the way you are using the metered dose inhaler, go over your technique with your pharmacist, nurse or doctor.

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