How to use a dry powder inhaler :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

How to use a Dry Powder Inhaler

A dry powdered inhaler (DPI) is an asthma treatment option for older kids and teens. Using a dry powdered inhaler allows medicine to get deep into the lungs. Unlike other inhalers which deliver a puff of medicine, these inhalers hold the medicine as a dry powder. Since the medicine sits inside as a powder, you have to breathe in fast and deep to get the medicine into the lungs. If you have any further questions about dry powdered inhalers, contact your doctor's office, asthma care team or pharmacy.

Video Transcript

Medicine can get deep into the lungs through a dry powdered inhaler or DPI for short.

Here’s how older kids and teens can use a DPI.

How are DPIs different from metered dose inhalers?

Unlike other inhalers, which deliver a puff of medicine, these inhalers hold the medicine as a dry powder

Since the medicine sits inside as a powder, you have to breathe in fast and deep to get the medicine into the lungs.

Think of it this way:  Hold like a hamburger-suck like a milkshake!

Hold the dry powdered flat, like this, with one hand.  Don’t shake it.

Put the thumb of your other hand on the thumb grip to slide the door open to find the mouthpiece.

Place thumb on lever and push your thumb away from you as far as it will go until you hear a click. 

Turn your head to the side and breathe out-do not breathe into the inhaler.

Close your mouth tightly around the mouthpiece while holding the device flat

Breathe in fast and deep through the mouthpiece.

Hold it like a hamburger-suck like a milkshake!

After you breathe the medicine in, hold your breath for a count of 10. Then slowly breathe out.

Close the device when you’re finished so it will be ready for your next dose.

You may not feel or taste the medicine.

Rinse your mouth out with water or brush your teeth after using dry powdered inhalers.

Wipe the mouthpiece with a dry cloth after each use.  Always keep the dry powdered inhaler dry and never take it apart.

Remember if you have questions, call your doctor’s office, asthma care team or pharmacy.

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