How to use dry powder inhalers?


Inhalers have proved to be a life saving device for numerous people with asthma. Over the years they have evolved and advanced with various types and purposes. While there are several inhalers in the market Dry Powder Inhalers have proven to be one of the most effective inhalers over time. 

Ever since their development, dry powder inhalers have been extremely beneficial. They have been available in the market since the 1970s contributing to treating various conditions. In this article we will be talking about the details of DPIs and the simple steps of using them in detail.

What are DPIs? 

Dry powder inhalers are pretty different from MDIs especially its medication delivery mechanism. Unlike other inhalers which have medication in an aerosol form, DPIs contain medicine in a powder form which can be inhaled. Dry Powder Inhalers gained prominence when well-known aerosol propellants – CFCs used in MDIs were banned on a wide scale due to environmental reasons. However, metered-dose inhalers have now switched to other propellant known as HFAs. Dry powder inhalers can be of multiple types such as DPIs with single dose system or multi dose system or even consist a reservoir type system which is capable of storing dry powder in higher quantities.

You can easily load capsules within the DPI and inhale them in multiple doses or single doses. DPIs are used to treat various conditions such as COPD and asthma. Depending on the type you’re choosing, these are capable of delivering anti-inflammatories and bronchodilators. 

Steps to using a dry powder inhaler

If you are using DPIs, you need to follow every process properly. Some of the steps to use a dry powder inhaler include the following:

  • Follow the device instruction for loading the medicine. 
  • Stand or sit in a straight position to breathe out completely. 
  • Place the mouthpiece within the mouth and seal it using the lips. Make sure to breathe in forcefully. 
  • Remove the DPI from the mouth while holding your breath for 5-10 seconds. Make sure to exhale gradually after this. 

While many people are okay after the first dose, others may need more than one dose. In any case, it is recommended to consult your doctor for advice related to dosage and steps on how to use.

If you are using the capsule device, you need to keep the chamber open. It is advisable to inhale the powder thoroughly. If there is any powder remaining within the device, you will need to exhale completely and close the mouth. Once you remove the device, you will need to inhale it again. You can remove the device entirely only if the capsule is completely empty. 

Since it is a dry powder inhaler, you need to store it in a dry place. It would help if you refrained from washing the device as it may negatively impact. 

How to clean DPIs? 

Usually, package inserts inside the DPI box has complete instructions on cleaning it. Nonetheless, it is still advisable to be careful while cleaning. 

  • The mouthpiece of a dry powder inhaler needs to be cleaned using a dry cloth. If you use it regularly, you will need to clean it with a dry cloth once a week. 
  • Dry powder inhalers are not meant to be washed. The medicinal powder may be sensitive to moisture, which can eventually damage or reduce the impact of the medicine. 
  • You should not brush the spacer if any is attached to your dry powder inhaler. 

If you’re using an asthma inhaler, you need to ensure that you clean it from time to time. If you aren’t familiar with the cleaning instructions or usage, it is always good to refer to the package inserts or consult your doctor.