Breath Actuated Metered Dose Inhaler

Is A Breath Actuated MDI Better For My Asthma?

Teaching children proper inhaler technique is essential. Photo courtesy of

Breath Actuated Metered Does Inhaler

A breath actuated metered dose inhaler (MDI) is one type of inhaler that will deliver asthma medication to your lungs.

As you breathe in medication will be delivered to your lungs. Proper technique is important as poor technique leads to less medication being delivered to your lungs.

How Is A Breath Actuated MDI Different From Other MDIs?

The main difference is that the medication is driven into your lungs during inhalation as opposed to a propellant used in other MDIs.

Using Your Inhaler

Some MDIs require priming or the spraying of one or several puffs when the inhaler is new or has not been used for a certain period of time. This requirement varies among devices. Check with your doctor or refer to the package insert for specific instructions.

It is also also a good idea to review inhaler technique with your doctor, asthma educator, or pharmacy for general and product specific instructions related to your MDI technique.

  1. Remove the cap from the mouthpiece and shake for 5 seconds. Failing to shake prior to use leads to unreliable dosing when the medication is released.
  2. Hold the inhaler upright and lift lever. See the previously mentioned info about priming. This step is where priming would be preformed if necessary.
  3. Breath out completely away from the spacer You want your chin slightly elevated as you begin to inhale.
  4. Put the mouthpiece in your mouth and seal your lips around it tightly.
  1. Begin to breathe in slowly through your mouth for about 5 seconds. As you breathe in the MDI will release a puff of medicine.
  2. ** Fill your lungs as completely as possible.** Count to 10 slowly while holding your breath.
  3. Slowly exhale.
  4. Close lever.
  5. Repeat steps 3–8 the number of times necessary to get your appropriate dose.

    Caring For Your Inhaler

    Your inhaler will last for several months so it is important that it remains in good working order

    How Long Will My Inhaler Last

    Look on your MDI canister or package insert to see how many doses are contained in your MDI.
    In order to determine how long your inhaler will last you need to determine how many doses you will use per day and then divide by the total number of doses in the inhaler.

    For example, if your MDI contains 200 doses and you take one puff twice daily, that means you will use 2 doses per day. Dividing 200 by 2 equals 100, so your MDI should last for 100 days.

    When you have used the total doses make sure to dispose of the MDI. It may feel as though there is still medication in the canister, but this is most likely a chemical additive or left over propellant.

    Make sure to call your doctor’s office or the pharmacy for a refill before you run out of medicine.

    What Is Your Biggest Asthma Problem?

    We want to help you get control of your asthma. I want to hear about your biggest asthma problem so that we can try to help you develop a solution or better understand how to help.
 You are probably not the only one with the problem. Take a few minutes describing your problem so we can develop a solution together.

    Learn More About Your Asthma

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    1. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Accessed: June 28, 2015. Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR3): Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma.

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