A practical guide to inhalers (COPD)

10) Breezhaler®

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My name is Sam Alcroft, and I have a respiratory condition. The result of which, is I have to take these. The Breezhaler. What I’m going to do today is give you a quick basic guide on how to use it, however I do recommend that you use and keep the instructions that you’ll find inside the box. I will cover a few important points about the inhaler. Then I will demonstrate on how to use the inhaler. Finally I will give you some tips on cleaning, storing and re-ordering, what to do if you miss, or take too much, and what to do when you’re visiting a hospital or a clinic. Something inhalers are given to prevent flare-ups. So you need to take them regularly, same time each day. Get into a routine or habit in taking them. Like after a dinner or after breakfast. Don’t just take it if you have a flare-up, because it can take a few days or more for this to actually work. The Breezhaler is a dry powder inhaler. That means that the drug is in a dry powder form that you inhale into your lungs. Your inhaler comes in a box, like so. Inside the box you will find your capsules, and your inhaler. Take off the dust cap, to reveal the mouthpiece, pull back the mouthpiece. And that reveals the chamber for which you put your capsule into. Once you drop the capsule into the chamber, you simply close the mouthpiece like so. You’ll hear it click (CLICK). That lets you know that you’ve closed it properly. At the side of the inhaler you’ll see 2 small blue buttons. You simply squeeze these together, and they will pierce the capsule that’s inside the chamber. This will release the drug and it’s ready to use. Once you’ve received your Breezhaler, make sure that the product is in date. This can be found at the bottom of the pack. If it’s out-of-date, return back to your pharmacist, take your inhaler the same time every day. This can be taken with, or without food. Sit or stand upright, with your head in a neutral position. To use your inhaler, remove the cap like so. Open back the chamber, to reveal where you’re going to put the capsule. Take your capsule foil, pierce one open. If like me you accidentally sometimes use the foil and open a second one. Bin one of them. Don’t keep it for the next day. Take your capsule and just drop it into the chamber. There’s no special way of doing this, it doesn’t needs to be one way or the other. Just drop it in. Close over (CLICK) And you’ll hear the click. Take both ends of the coloured buttons at the side and squeeze (CLICK). You hear the 2 wee clicks. That lets you know that the capsule’s burst and the drug is now in the inhaler.

Hold the inhaler away from you, and breathe out as much as you can. This will allow you to take a better breath when ready. Don’t breathe out into the inhaler, as this may scatter the drug. Put the mouthpiece to your mouth, and seal with your lips. Inhale quickly and deeply. You will hear the capsule vibrate inside the chamber. Once you have done that, release from your mouth and hold your breath for up to 10 seconds. Once you have done that, breathe out slowly. Once you have done this, open the mouthpiece to check that the powder has all gone. If it hasn’t. Close the mouthpiece, (CLICK) press the 2 colour buttons, and repeat. When finished, open the mouthpiece, tip the empty capsule onto your hand, and place in the bin. Replace the cap, onto your inhaler. I’ll now show you how to use your inhaler from start to finish (CLICK, CLICK, EXHALES SLOWLY, INHALES QUICKLY, EXHALES SLOWLY, CLICK). Once you’ve taken your inhaler, it’s always recommended that you brush your teeth, or use a mouthwash. Some inhalers can give side effects, such as voice hoarseness, or a mild infection. Clean your inhaler at least once a week. You can do this by using a dry cloth or tissue. Give the mouthpiece a good wipe and put it back. Always store your inhaler in a dry, cool place. Somewhere it’s not going to get moist or damp. Put it somewhere that’s going to remember you to use it, such as your bedside table, or on the table before leaving for your work If you forget to take your inhaler and only an hour or 2 has past. Then fine, just take it. If it’s longer than that, then just forget it, skip it. Get back on track the next day.

If you take too much, then it’s always advisable to call a health care professional. When you get down to the last 5 capsules that’s when you should order some more. Only order these when you need them, because remember these do expire. Finally, when popping along to the hospital or clinic it’s always best to take your inhaler and any other prescribed drugs along with you. There are always very helpful and useful to the doctor or the practice nurse.