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 a Turbuhaler.


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

Using your Inhaler (Turbuhaler) 


A Turbuhaler is used with a number of different medications. These include:

  • Bricanyl (terbutaline sulfate)
  • Oxis (eformoterol)
  • Pulmicort (budesonide)
  • Symbicort (budesonide plus eformoterol)

Checklist of steps

  1. Unscrew and remove cover
  2. Check dose counter
  3. Keep inhaler upright while twisting grip around and then back until click is heard
  4. Breathe out gently away from mouthpiece
  5. Place mouthpiece between teeth without biting and close lips to form a good seal
  6. Breathe in strongly and deeply
  7. Remove inhaler from mouth
  8. Breathe out gently away from mouthpiece
  9. If an extra dose is needed, repeat steps 3 to 9
  10. Replace cover

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

Common problems

  • Not holding the inhaler upright while loading the dose
  • Not completing both steps of the loading procedure (around and then back)
  • Not breathing in strongly enough to draw the medication out of the inhaler
  • Moisture getting inside from breathing into the inhaler or leaving the cover off


  • Place the inhaler on a flat surface (e.g. a table) when loading the dose to make sure it stays completely vertical
  • Read the dose counter in the middle of the window
  • You can test whether you are breathing in strongly enough by placing a dark handkerchief or fine cloth over the mouthpiece before using the inhaler. A very fine layer of powder should be visible on the cloth if you have breathed in strongly enough to draw medication out of 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