Dry Powder Inhalers are breath activated inhalers. In New Zealand, the most common dry powder inhaler is the Turbuhaler, which is a breath activated inhaler with no propellant or carrier added to the medicine. 

Some Kiwis also use the Accuhaler, which is also a breath activated device. Doses of the medicine are set into a foil strip inside the Accuhaler.

What is the Turbuhaler?

The Turbuhaler is most common dry powder inhaler used in New Zealand. It has no propellant or carrier added to the medicine. You will hardly notice any powder in your mouth. The recommended age of use is 12 years through to adult.

Using your turbuhaler

  1. Unscrew and remove the cap
  2. Hold the Turbuhaler upright. Turn the grip as far as it will go and then back to the original position – listen for the click. (Repeating will not double the dose)
  3. Sit upright, and breathe out gently
  4. Insert the mouthpiece into the mouth holding the inhaler horizontally ensuring that the lips are firmly sealed
  5. Breathe in steadily and deeply
  6. Remove the Turbuhaler from the mouth, then breathe out gently through the nose
  7. Replace the cap securely
  8. Rinse mouth and spit out or clean teeth after using a corticosteroid preventer

There is a window under the mouthpiece on the outside of the Turbuhaler called the ‘Empty Soon Indicator.’ When a red mark or a number appears at the top of the window, there are approximately 20 doses left.

Some common mistakes when using the turbuhaler are:

Not holding the inhaler upright when priming

  • Covering the air inlets with lips
  • Breathing in through the nose instead of the mouth
  • Shaking the inhaler to see how much is left
  • Storing inhaler in a damp environment with the cap off

Using your Accuhaler

  1. Open the device by holding the outer case. Using the thumb grip, slide the cover open as far as it will go
  2. Face the mouthpiece towards the person using the device
  3. Push the lever away from the mouthpiece until you hear the ‘click’
  4. Sit upright, tilting the head back (as if you are sniffing – ‘sniff’ position) and breathe out gently
  5. Insert the mouthpiece into the mouth ensuring that your lips firmly seal the mouthpiece
  6. Breathe in fully, remove Accuhaler from the mouth and hold breath for 10 seconds or as long as is comfortable
  7. Breathe out gently through the nose
  8. Slide the thumb grip back over the mouthpiece
  9. Repeat if second dose required
  10. Rinse mouth and spit out or clean teeth after using a corticosteroid preventer

Some common mistakes are exhaling into the device, breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth, or not ‘clicking’ the lever after opening the cover. 

You will know that it is time for a new inhaler when the number of doses remaining is displayed (with the last five numbers in red.)

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