Asthma Management: Dry Powder Inhalers


  • Your doctor may prescribe a medication for you in the form of a dry powder inhaler, or DPI, to help control your asthma. A DPI delivers powdered medication into your lungs.
  • Each DPI works a little differently, so be sure to have your healthcare provider coach you on exactly how to use it.
  • As an example, let's take a closer look at the diskus DPI. A diskus has a mouthpiece and a lever. It also shows you how many doses you have available.
  • To use a diskus, hold the device in the palm of one hand. Put the thumb of your other hand in the thumb grip, or dent, and push until the device clicks open.
  • Next, slide the lever as far as it will go until you hear a click. This loads a single dose of medication.
  • Exhale deeply, away from the device. Then put the mouthpiece in your mouth.
  • Take a quick big breath in. This will bring the medication into your lungs.
  • Take the diskus out of your mouth and hold your breath for ten seconds. Exhale slowly through your nose.
  • Wipe the mouthpiece with a clean paper towel after each use.
  • Close the device by putting your thumb in the thumb grip, and sliding it until the device clicks shut.
  • It is important to rinse your mouth after using a DPI that contains a steroid medication. This removes any powder that has settled on your tongue or in your mouth and will help prevent a yeast infection, or thrush.
  • If you have any questions about your DPI medication, or feel that you may be experiencing side effects, talk with your healthcare provider.

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