Using your inhaler (puffer) properly is important when you have asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

This short video shows you how to use an Autohaler.


View or print these instructions as a one-page factsheet:

Using your Inhaler (Autohaler) 


An Autohaler is used with a number of different medications. These include:

  • Airomir (salbutamol)
  • Qvar (beclomethasone)

Checklist of steps

  1. Remove cap
  2. Hold inhaler upright and shake well*
  3. Push lever up
  4. Breathe out gently away from mouthpiece
  5. Put mouthpiece between teeth without biting and close lips to form good seal
  6. Breathe in slowly and deeply. Keep breathing in after click is heard
  7. Hold breath for about 10 seconds or as long as comfortable
  8. While holding breath, remove inhaler from mouth
  9. Breathe out gently away from mouthpiece
  10. Push lever down
  11. If an extra dose is needed, repeat steps 2 to 10
  12. Replace cap

Your inhaler will come with instructions in the package. Always check the package insert for any specific instructions.

*Qvar Autohaler does not need to be shaken before use, but there is no harm caused if you do shake it.

Common problems

  • Holding the inhaler in the wrong position
  • Stopping breathing in when the click is heard
  • Moisture getting inside from breathing into the inhaler or leaving the cap off
  • Taking several puffs without shaking the inhaler in between


  • Keep chin up and inhaler upright (not aimed at roof of mouth or tongue)
  • Always lift the lever before using the inhaler
  • Always put the cover back on the inhaler after use

Getting the most out of your inhaler

Ask your doctor, pharmacist or asthma & respiratory educator to:

  • Explain how your inhaler should be used
  • Check you are using your inhaler properly
  • Tell you where to find the expiry date on your inhaler
  • Show you how to check if your inhaler is empty or nearly empty
  • Discuss any unwanted effects from your medication
  • Explain how to clean your inhaler and spacer (if you have one).

Using your inhaler: other inhaler types

  • Standard MDI (puffer)
  • Standard MDI (puffer) and spacer
  • Accuhaler
  • Autohaler
  • HandiHaler
  • Turbuhaler

Last reviewed October 2013