Find information on all inhaler devices, and how to use them correctly.

To get the maximum benefit from your medicine, it is important to have the correct inhaler technique. Always ask your healthcare practitioner, pharmacist or asthma educator to explain how to use your inhaler.

Note: Follow the instructions for how to use your inhaler device, contained on the patient information leaflet inside each pack.

Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs)

Pressurised metered dose inhalers (MDIs) are sometimes called aerosol inhalers or “puffers”.

The medicine is contained within a canister in a gas form, and housed by a small plastic inhaler device. This type of inhaler needs to be shaken immediately before use to ensure the medicine is mixed with the gas propellant before you use it.

When the inhaler is pressed, a measured dose of medicine is released from the canister, through the mouthpiece of the plastic inhaler.

It is recommended that MDIs are used with a spacer - no matter what your age. Spacers improve the effectiveness of inhaled medications by increasing the deposition of medicine into the lungs, rather than in the mouth and throat.

Puffer inhalers are known to have a significant environmental impact. The carbon footprint of a 200-dose inhaler is equal to a 290km journey in a small car. Dry powder inhalers are a more environmentally friendly option. These inhalers may not be suitable for everyone, so it is important that you discuss your options with your healthcare practitioner.

Read more about how to use MDIs here.

Dry Powder Inhaler

Dry Powder Inhalers are breath activated inhalers and contain medicine in a powder form, with no propellant or carrier added to the medicine. These inhalers must not be shaken before use.

Unlike pressurised metered dose inhalers (“puffer” inhalers), dry powder inhalers do not contain a gas propellant, which makes them a more environmentally friendly option. However, dry powder inhalers may not be suitable for everyone, and it is important that you discuss your options with your healthcare practitioner.

Click below to find out how to use your dry powder inhaler device for asthma:


Nebulisers are devices that turn liquid medicine into a fine mist that you can breathe in easily. A nebuliser can be useful for people with asthma; however, research has found that reliever puffers used with spacers can be just as effective. Read more.