For instructions on how to use a metered dose inhaler (“puffer”) with a spacer click here.

What is a spacer?

A spacer is a clear plastic cylinder, designed to make a metered dose inhaler (or “puffer” inhaler) easier to use. It is recommended that everyone who has a puffer inhaler (both children and adults) use a spacer. Instead of inhaling the medicine directly from the puffer inhaler, a dose from the inhaler is puffed into the spacer and then inhaled from the mouthpiece of the spacer, or with a mask attached if it is a child under the age of four years.

Why should I use a spacer?

There are a number of advantages to using a spacer:

  • Spacers greatly increase the amount of medicine going into the lungs, rather than it ending up in the back of your mouth and throat.
  • As a result of the above, spacers reduce the local side effects from preventer (corticosteroid) medication in your mouth and throat e.g. sore throat, hoarse voice and oral thrush. This also means that less medicine is swallowed and then absorbed from the intestine into the rest of the body. (You should still always rinse your mouth out after using your preventer medication, to avoid these side effects).
  • It is easier to use a puffer inhaler with a spacer than an inhaler alone, as you do not need to coordinate your hand and your breathing.
  • You can breathe in and out several times with a spacer. If your lungs aren't working well, you don't have to get all the medicine into your lungs in one breath only.
  • Spacers are not only as effective as a nebuliser, they are faster and easier to use, more portable, cheaper, and not dependent on a power supply.

Before using a new spacer:

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the spacer you have been given to check if washing or priming is required before first use.

  • The e-Chamber Spacers are made from anti-static plastic so do not require priming.
  • The Space Chamber Plus Spacer and the Volumatic Spacer do need to be primed before using for the first time.
  • To prime a spacer, wash the spacer in warm water with dishwashing liquid. Do not rinse, do not towel dry - allow to drip dry.

Where can I get a spacer?

You can get spacers free of charge from your healthcare practitioner or local asthma society.

Washing your spacer:

Wash your spacer once a week with warm water and dishwashing liquid. Don’t rinse your spacer or dry it with a towel, but instead allow it to drip dry. This reduces the electrostatic charge on the spacer and stops medicine from sticking to the sides of the space chamber.

Replacing your spacer:

If used regularly, it is recommended that your spacer is replaced every 12 months.
Check the spacer for any cracks or other damage routinely, and replace as needed.

Spacers are not for sharing:

Each person in the family using a spacer should have their own personal spacer. Spacers are made for single person use to stop the spread of infectious disease.

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