Expert medical advice for using a Respimat inhaler

Are you using your inhaler correctly? Getting the technique right will help you manage your symptoms better. Find out how in this video.

Hello, I’m Caroline. I’m a respiratory nurse specialist. I’m going to show you how to use a Respimat inhaler also known as a soft-mist inhaler. Getting your inhaler technique right is very important because it helps you manage your symptoms better. It may take a few tries to feel comfortable using your inhaler, but it does get easier with practice. When you first receive a prescription for a Respimat inhaler, you will receive a pack containing an empty inhaler and a cartridge that you will need to insert. Repeat prescriptions will usually just be for a refill cartridge. However, you will need a new inhaler every six months. Before using your Respimat inhaler, you will need to prepare it. To insert a cartridge, keep the cap closed and press the safety catch on the side to remove the clear base. Insert a new cartridge into the inhaler and click it into place by pressing the inhaler down on a firm surface. Remember to mark on the check box on your inhaler to indicate that you have used a new cartridge, and then put the clear base back into place. Now you need to prime your inhaler. Hold your inhaler upright with the cap closed. You should only turn the base when the cap is closed, otherwise the inhaler may spray a dose as you turn the base. Turn the clear base in the direction of the arrows until it clicks. Open the cap fully. Point the inhaler towards the floor away from you and press the big grey button. Close the cap. If you do not see a white cloud, repeat the priming sequence until you see a cloud. Once you can see a cloud, repeat the priming sequence three more times. Your inhaler is now ready for use. If you have not used your inhaler for one to three weeks, you will need to repeat the priming sequence once. If you have not used your inhaler for more than three weeks, you will need to repeat the priming sequence as if you are preparing a new inhaler. Your inhaler is now ready for use. First, check the dose indicator to make sure the cartridge is not empty. Hold the inhaler upright, with the cap closed. Turn the base in the direction of the arrows until it clicks. Push up the catch on the side of the inhaler and open the cap. Hold the inhaler horizontally. Check that there is nothing inside the inhaler mouthpiece. Sit or stand up straight and slightly tilt your chin up, so that you’re pointing the inhaler towards the back of your throat. The next steps all happen smoothly in one action. Breathe out gently and slowly away from the inhaler until your lungs feel empty and you feel ready to breathe in. Put your lips around the mouthpiece of the inhaler to make a tight seal without blocking the two holes on either side. Start to breathe in slowly and steadily, and at the same time, press the big grey button on the inhaler once. Continue to breathe in slowly until your lungs feel full. Take the inhaler out of your mouth and hold your breath for up to ten seconds, or for as long as you comfortably can. Then breathe out gently away from your inhaler. Wait for 30 seconds and repeat for a second puff, remembering to close the cap before you turn the base. When you have finished, close the cap on the inhaler. When the cartridge in the inhaler is empty, the dose counter will turn red and show a down arrow. This indicates that you need to replace the cartridge. As you turn the clear base, it will loosen and your inhaler will be in a locked position. Pull out the empty cartridge from the inhaler and then insert a new cartridge as before. When you have used an inhaler with six cartridges, you should get a new Respimat inhaler device. It may be useful to make a note of when you first started using it. For more tips on using your inhaler, why not watch our other videos.

The UK Inhaler Group includes leading respiratory health organisations and professional societies.

This video is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you find it hard to use your inhaler, or find breathing problems are interfering with your daily life and sleep, see your GP. If you are having an asthma attack right now or cannot breathe normally and your blue reliever inhaler isn't helping or if you don’t have one, please call 999 for an ambulance. Asthma + Lung UK does not endorse nor recommend specific products. See our general disclaimer.

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