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Inhaler technique – Autohaler

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Autohaler technique

  1. Hold the Autohaler upright. Remove the mouthpiece cover by pulling down on the lip at the back.
  2. Shake the Autohaler. Push the lever on the top of the device up so it stays up. Do not block the air vent on the bottom of the device.
  3. Breathe out gently as far as comfortable, away from the Autohaler.
  4. Put the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips around it.
  5. Breathe in slowly and steadily through your mouth. Do not stop breathing when the Autohaler clicks (to release the dose) and continue taking a deep breath.
  6. Remove the Autohaler from your mouth and hold your breath for up to 10 seconds or as long as comfortable, then breathe out slowly. Push the lever on the top of the device down (off position).
  7. Wait 30 to 60 seconds before repeating steps 1 to 6 for a second dose, if needed. Replace mouthpiece cover after use.

Looking after your inhaler

If your inhaler contains a steroid ingredient, you should rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth after it; this is to prevent infections such as oral thrush.


7 Steps to Success, Inhaler Technique (2014) (adapted).

Asthma UK, ‘How to use your inhaler’ videos.

Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, “My Lungs My Life” videos.

‘Getting the basics right, Inhaler Technique’. Primary Care Respiratory Society (2016).

For further support and information, please contact:

Royal Sussex County Hospital COPD Nurse Specialist: 01273 523109.

Worthing Hospital Respiratory Nurse Specialists: 01903 205111. Extension: 85858.

St Richard’s Hospital Respiratory Nurse Specialists: 01243 788122. Extension: 3239.

You can also contact your community pharmacist or practice nurse for advice.

The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

Publication Date: September 2021

Review Date: March 2024

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