How to use a Standard MDI (puffer)
See all videos

How to use a Standard MDI (puffer)

Print page

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 standard metered dose inhaler (MDI), often called a puffer.

Medications

A standard puffer is used with many different medications. These include:

Checklist of steps

  1. Remove cap (some must be squeezed at the sides to release)
  2. Check dose counter (if device has one)
  3. Hold inhaler upright and shake well
  4. Breathe out gently (away from inhaler)
  5. Put mouthpiece between teeth (without biting) and close lips to form good seal
  6. Start to breathe in slowly through mouth and at the same time press down firmly on canister
  7. Continue to breathe in slowly and deeply
  8. Hold breath for about 5 seconds or as long as comfortable
  9. While holding breath, remove inhaler from mouth
  10. Breathe out gently (away from inhaler)
  11. If more than one dose is needed, repeat all steps starting from step 3
  12. Replace cap

Common problems

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

Tips

Getting the most out of your inhaler

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

Other inhaler types

See our complete How-to video library for other inhaler types and how to use them.

Acknowledgement

Thanks to Ms Judi Wicking, asthma and respiratory educator, and the patient who participated in this film clip.

Development of this How-to video was supported by the Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs as part of the Prevent Puffer Problems campaign. The National Asthma Council Australia retained editorial control.