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Using an Inspirease

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A holding chamber or "spacer", such as an Inspirease, helps you use a metered dose inhaler (MDI) more effectively. Metered Dose Inhalers are used to get medicine directly into the lungs where it is needed. This allows the medicine to work quicker than the same type of medicine taken by liquid or pill form. Because this medicine goes right into the lungs, a smaller dose is used and will result in fewer side effects. When used correctly, an inhaler with an Inspirease® or spacer can give as good a “treatment” as using a nebulizer machine.

The Inspirease®:

  • Makes a metered dose inhaler easy to use.
  • Allows you to inhale medicine without trying to time the puff of medicine with breathing in.
  • Helps more medicine get into your lungs where it can work.
  • Decreases the side effects of some inhaled medicines.

How to use an Inspirease®:

  1. Connect the mouthpiece to the bag. Line up the tabs on the mouthpiece with the opening on the bag. Push in and twist to lock.
  2. Gently untwist the bag and open it to its full size.
  3. Shake your inhaler before placing its stem in the mouthpiece. Some inhalers will sit in the mouthpiece more loosely than others. This is okay and will not affect how well the drug is delivered.
  4. Place the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips and teeth around it.
  5. Press your finger down on the inhaler to "puff" one dose of medicine into the bag.
  6. Breathe in slowly through the mouthpiece until you have inhaled the entire contents of the bag. Make sure you are breathing through your mouth not your nose. You will know when to stop when the bag has collapsed completely and you cannot breathe in anymore.

    ** If you hear a whistling sound, breathe in slower until no sound is heard.

  7. Hold your breath and slowly count to five.
  8. Breathe out slowly into the bag.
  9. Repeat the breathing in and out steps (numbers 6 through 8 above) a second time. Make sure you keep your lips closed tightly around the mouthpiece. You have now completed taking "one puff" of your medicine.
  10. Wait one minute between puffs.
  11. Repeat this process as often as directed by your doctor.
  12. Remove the mouthpiece from your mouth. Take the inhaler out of its holder. Unlock the mouthpiece from the bag by untwisting and pulling out.


  • Always remember to shake the inhaler before using it!
  • Clear the Inspirease by washing the mouthpiece (do not wash bag) in warm, running water at least 1 time daily. Dry thoroughly. (It is not dishwasher safe.)
  • Change the bag every 3-4 weeks or sooner if a tear/hole is present.
  • Do not inhale too fast!


  • Check the expiration date on the metered dose Inhaler before using it. Throw away inhalers if the date has passed. HINT: Mark this date on your calendar so you remember to replace the MDI before it expires.
  • Throw away the inhaler when you have used the recommended maximum number of sprays even if it does not feel empty. It may feel like there is more medicine in the inhaler, but this is just the solution that produces the spray. The only way to be sure a metered dose inhaler is empty is to keep track of the number of sprays used.
  • If the MDI is used on a regular schedule you can use this chart to help determine when you should throw it away. Mark your calendar for the date you should start using a new inhaler. Make sure you get refills before the date to throw away the used canister.
How often to change Metered Dose Inhaler Canisters
# Sprays in canister2 Sprays each day4 Sprays each day6 Sprays each day8 Sprays each day9 Sprays each day12 Sprays each day16 Sprays each day
6030 days15 daysN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
100N/A25 days16 days12 daysN/AN/AN/A
104N/A26 days17 days13 daysN/AN/AN/A
112N/A28 days18 days14 daysN/AN/AN/A
12060 days30 days20 days15 daysN/AN/AN/A
200N/A50 days33 days25 days22 days16 days12 days
240N/A60 days40 days30 days26 days20 days15 days
If the medication is taken as scheduled, the canister should be thrown away as shown above. Otherwise, the sprays remaining in the canister may not have enough medication.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 11/05

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