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How to demonstrate Breezhaler technique to your patients

A Breezhaler inhaler training and demonstration pack
A Breezhaler inhaler training and demonstration pack

Do you know how to help patients use their Breezhaler device?

Demonstrating inhaler technique is an important part of many consultations, such as medicines use reviews, the new medicine service and the chronic medication service.

In C+D's video below, Kingston University's pharmacy teaching fellow Leanne May demonstrates how to use the Breezhaler device and discusses the contents of the demonstration pack.

Steps for using the Breezhaler

  1. Pull off the cap, hold the base firmly and tilt the mouthpiece to open the inhaler.

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  2. Separate one of the blisters from the blister pack by tearing along the perforation. Peel away the protective silver foil to expose and then remove the capsule. Note: only remove with dry, clean hands immediately before use.

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  3. Place the capsule into the chamber and tilt back the mouthpiece to the upright position, until you hear a click.

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  4. Holding the Breezhaler upright, firmly press the buttons on the side at the same time, then release gently once. You should hear a faint clicking noise and the capsule will have been pierced, making the contents available for inhalation.

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  5. Breath out fully (away from the inhaler) then place the inhaler in the mouth. Close the mouth and lips firmly around it.
     
  6. Breath in rapidly, but steadily, as deeply as possible (do not press the side buttons, as this may prevent the medicine being released). During the intake of breath, the capsule will spin within the chamber, creating a whirring noise. The user will experience a sweet taste, as the contents enter the lungs.

    If there is no noise, then the capsule may be stuck in the capsule chamber. If this happens, users can open the inhaler and tap the base to help dislodge the stuck capsule, before repeating steps 5 and 6.
     
  7. After inhaling the contents of the capsule, the user must hold their breath for 5-10 seconds (or as long as they can comfortably), then remove the inhaler from their mouth as they hold their breath. They should then breathe out and open the inhaler to check if any powder is left in the capsule.

    If there is any powder left, they will need to repeat steps 5-7. Most people will inhale the entire capsule after one or two inhalations.
     
  8. Open the mouthpiece and remove the empty capsule by tipping it out of the chamber. Close the inhaler and replace the cap.

Note: Some people using the Breezhaler may cough briefly soon after inhaling the capsule's contents. You should advise patients that this is normal, and that as long as the capsule is empty the medicine will have been inhaled correctly.

Cleaning the Breezhaler

You should advise patients never to wash their inhaler with water. If they want to clean their device, tell them to wipe the mouthpiece inside and outside with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth, to remove any powder residue. You should also advise them to keep their inhaler dry.

1 Comments

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

OK, brilliant, we know how to use it now.  Next problem... Any idea how we can get hold of it without jumping through half a dozen DTP shaped flaming hoops?

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