Using an Inhaler with a Spacer

To control asthma, you need to use your medicines the right way. Some medicines are inhaled using a device called a metered-dose inhaler (MDI). Metered-dose inhalers deliver medicine with a fine spray. You may be asked to use a spacer (holding tube) with your inhaler. The spacer helps make sure all the medicine you need goes into your lungs. 

Steps for using an inhaler with a spacer

Step 1:

  • Remove the caps from the inhaler and spacer.

  • Shake the inhaler well and attach the spacer. If the inhaler is being used for the first time or has not been used for a while, prime it as directed by the product maker.

Step 2:

  • Breathe out normally.

  • Put the spacer between your teeth. Close your lips tightly around it.

  • Keep your chin up.

Step 3:

  • Spray 1 puff into the spacer by pressing down on the inhaler.

  • Then breathe in through your mouth as slowly and deeply as you can. This should take about 5-10 seconds. If you breathe too quickly, you may hear a whistling sound in certain spacers.

Step 4:

  • Take the spacer out of your mouth.

  • Hold your breath for a count of 10.

  • Then hold your lips together and slowly breathe out through your mouth.


Six steps in using metered-dose inhaler with a spacer.


If you’re prescribed more than 1 puff of medicine at a time, wait at least 30 seconds between puffs. This number may be different for different medicines. Shake the inhaler again. Then repeat steps 2 to 4.