Using your inhaler (puffer) properly is important when you have asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
This short clip shows you how to use a Fostair inhaler.
Medications taken with this inhaler
A Fostair inhaler is a metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) and contains beclometasone and formoterol.
Checklist of steps
- Remove cap and check mouthpiece.
- Check dose counter.
- Breathe out gently (away from inhaler)
- Hold inhaler upright*
- Put mouthpiece between teeth (without biting) and close lips to form good seal.
- Start to breathe in slowly through mouth and, at the same time, press down firmly on canister.
- Continue to breathe in slowly and deeply.
- Hold breath for about 5 seconds or as long as comfortable.
- While holding breath, remove inhaler from mouth.
- Breathe out gently (away from inhaler).
- If you need to take another puff, keep inhaler upright for about half a minute, then repeat steps 2-10.
- Replace cap and check dose counter.
*Fostair inhaler does not require shaking.
If the inhaler is brand new or you haven’t used it for 14 days or more, you should test the inhaler to ensure it’s working properly:
- Remove cap.
- Hold inhaler upright.
- Direct mouthpiece away from yourself and press down on canister to release one puff.
- Check dose counter. (If testing for first time, counter should read 120.)
The inhaler has a dose counter on the back, which tells you how many doses are left. Each time you press the canister, a puff of medicine is released, and the counter will count down by one.
When the counter shows the number 20, it’s time to get a new prescription.
When the counter shows 0, it’s time to replace the inhaler with a new one.
- Holding the inhaler in the wrong position
- Not breathing in at the same time as pressing the canister
- Not breathing in deeply enough
- Not holding breath for long enough
- Taking several puffs without waiting in between
- Keep your chin up and the inhaler upright (not aimed at the roof of your mouth or your tongue)
- Rinse your mouth with water and spit after inhaling the last dose to reduce the risk of side-effects
- If you have any difficulty coordinating breathing in and pressing the canister, we recommend that you use a spacer
- If you have weak hands, it may be easier to hold inhaler with both hands: hold upper part of inhaler with both index fingers and lower part with both thumbs
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
Different brands of inhalers sometimes have slightly different instructions to each other for similar steps. The checklists in our How-to video library have been simplified and standardised where possible to reduce confusion.
Your inhaler will come with instructions in the package. Always check the package insert for any specific instructions.
Other inhaler types
See our complete How-to video library for other inhaler types and how to use them.
Thanks to Ms Narelle Williamson, Asthma and Respiratory educator, and the patient who participated in this film clip.
Development of this How-to video was supported by Chiesi Australia. The National Asthma Council Australia retained editorial control.
Although all care has been taken, this video is a general guide only, which is not a substitute for assessment of appropriate courses of treatment on a case-by-case basis. The National Asthma Council Australia expressly disclaims all responsibility (including for negligence) for any loss, damage or personal injury resulting from reliance on the information contained herein.