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How to use your turbohaler inhaler

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How to use your turbohaler inhaler

Inhalers are commonly prescribed for patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as they are very effective at delivering the medication straight to the lungs where it is needed.

Using your inhalers correctly is an important part of asthma or COPD treatment. You should be shown how to use inhalers properly by a healthcare professional when they are first prescribed.

You may occasionally experience problems using your inhalers, especially if it has been a while since you were shown the correct technique. This is very common and your healthcare professional can help you improve your inhaler technique.

Why is inhaler technique important?

  • It allows the correct dose of medication to reach your lungs.
  • It gives you better control of your condition.
Examples of Turbohaler inhalers Bricanyl Turbohaler Oxis Turbohaler
Pulmicort Turbohaler Symbicort Turbohaler


Checklist for turbohaler use

1 Stand or sit upright when using your turbohaler.
2 Unscrew and remove the cover.
3 Hold the turbohaler upright and and turn the grip as far as it will go in one direction then as far as it will go in the other direction until you hear a click.
4 Breathe out fully.
5 Place the mouthpiece between your teeth without biting and form a good seal around it with your lips.
6 Breathe in through your mouth as fast and forcefully as you can, for as long as you can.
7 Remove the turbohaler from your mouth.
8 Breathe out gently and slowly.
9 If your doctor has told you to take two puffs wait one minute and then repeat steps 3 to 8.
10 Replace the cover straight away to keep out dust.


Common problems

Common mistakes that are made with turbohalers include:

  • Not holding the turbohaler upright when loading the dose.
  • Not twisting the grip in both directions to load the dose correctly.
  • Not inhaling strongly enough to draw the medication out of the turbohaler and in to your lungs.
  • Moisture from breathing out getting inside the turbohaler and leaving the cover off.


Useful tips

  • Before you use your turbohaler for the first time, you need to prepare it for use. Unscrew the white mouthpiece cover and remove it from the inhaler.
  • Hold the turbohaler upright and turn the grip as far as it will go in one direction and then as far as it will go in the other direction until you hear a click. Do this again turning the grip in both directions. Replace the mouthpiece cover. Your inhaler is now ready for use.
  • Place the turbohaler on a table to keep it upright when loading the dose.
  • As a test, place a dark cloth over the mouthpiece and breath in, if you are inhaling strongly enough you should see powder on the cloth.
  • Replace the cover after use.
  • If your turbohaler contains a corticosteroid rinse your mouth out with water after your dose.
  • Speak to your nurse or pharmacist if you experience problems using your turbohaler.
  • Always read the patient leaflet provided with your turbohaler for any specific instructions.