A practical guide to inhalers (COPD)

9) Respimat®

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Hi my name’s Ann and I have a respiratory condition that my GP has prescribed Respimat inhaler. I would like to give you a visual guide on the Respimat inhaler, the purpose, a small demonstration, how to clean it, store it, test it and what to do when you’re going to the clinic or hospital. But most important, I would recommend that you keep the instructions that go with the box as well. The Respimat inhaler is an inhaler to prevent flare-ups. It won’t be effective if you wait until you have a flare-up so you really need to take it everyday. The Respimat inhaler is a metered-dose inhaler, MDI for short and it administers an aerosol dose to the lungs. This is a cap. This is the lid. This is the button that would release the dose. This is the arrows here, you can see red arrows that shows you the way you would turn, to release it. And this is the dose indicator here. And this is the safety button. When you pick up your inhaler from the pharmacist, always check that it’s within the use-by date, usually at the bottom of the box. I’m going to insert the canister, into the bottom of the inhaler. This is where the dose is. Give it a little push. And that should be it. The way we see it just now. When we replace the bottom cap (CLICK). The canister should still be protruding. Once I’m ready to take my dose. I’m going to give it a twist (CLICK, CLICK) And as you can see, the canister is more or less flush with the bottom of the inhaler. And that’s the dose ready to take. When you use it for the first time you need to prime it first. So you’ll give it your first turn (CLICK, CLICK) and back. Open up the cap, move it away from yourself and release…

This grey button will release the dose. You take your inhaler at the same time everyday. I tend to take mine in the morning ‘cos my inhaler is in the bedside cabinet. You can take it with or without food. But when you do take it, you need to be standing or sitting in an upright position with your head facing forward. So you hold your inhaler upright, and you give a twist to ensure the aerosol dose is in the inhaler. Open. You expel your air from your lungs and then as your breathing in, you would put your mouth over the mouthpiece. But avoid as I’ve said earlier, these 2 small air vents. If I could maybe put it the side, maybe you could see. So, as I said you breathe out all your air in your lungs and put your mouth, sealed over the mouthpiece and breathe in. At the same you’re breathing in press the grey to release your dose. Then you hold for 10 seconds. I usually count with my fingers and then breathe slowly out (EXHALES). When you’ve done that, you would close the cap, wait 30 seconds and repeat. I’m now going to show you how to use the inhaler (CLICK, EXHALES, CLICK, EXHALES SOFTLY, CLICK, EXHALES, CLICK, EXHALES SOFTLY) It’s as easy as that.

To clean your inhaler, it’s always advisable to wipe it after use. What I’ve noticed is after using I use the inhaler it’s quite moist this wee cap, so it’s always better, every time you use your inhaler to have a wee tissue, and give it a wee wipe over (CLICK). Clean it once a week with a nice clean cloth, damp cloth. Another point I would like to say is always brush your teeth after use and that’s why I always find, when I take my inhaler I take it in the morning next my bedside cabinet and then I automatically go and brush my teeth, and the same at night. If you don’t, well it can maybe cause a wee slight infection or hoarseness. I store my inhaler in my bedside cabinet. You need to keep it away from sunlight, and frost. So it’s best keeping it in a dark dry cupboard, or bedside cabinet. Taking your inhaler. As I say you take it regular every day, at the same time. Should you forget. If it’s 1 or 2 hours, that’s okay you can take it. But if not, wait ’til the following morning again before you take it. Or you could overdose. If you do however, contact a health professional for advice. This is the dose indicator. So when it starts at green you have a 120 doses. When it gets to the first part of the red, you have 30 doses left. And that’s always advisable to order your prescription then and order your inhalers only when you need them, because drugs can expire.

Always remember when you go to the hospital or clinic, to take medications and your inhalers with you. So the health professionals know what other drugs or medications you are on. Thank you.