How to use an inhalation chamber?

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children, affecting 1 in 10 children in France. The most used treatments are inhaled corticosteroid-based treatments for long-term treatment and rapid-acting bronchodilators for crisis treatment. Taking these medications with dulera inhaler (metered dose inhaler) requires proper inhalation technique to ensure optimal effect of the inhaled drug. The inhalation chamber is a device that will facilitate the administration of inhaled drugs especially in children.

What drug is used for an inhalation chamber in children with asthma?

The inhalation chamber is only used with metered aerosol type inhalers. This inhaler consists of a metal container that contains the drug and its plastic case that serves as a mouthpiece. Dosage aerosols require the acquisition of a complex inhalation technique, even for a large number of adults (slow and maximum expiration and inspiration, blocking breathing for 10 seconds, hand-lung coordination).

What is the inhalation chamber?

Young children are not able to use a metered dose inhaler. The inhalation chamber will allow and facilitate the administration of drugs delivered by this type of inhaler. The inhalation chamber is in the form of a transparent reservoir, usually plastic, interposed between the metered dose inhaler and the mouth of the child. This space, finished with a mask or a mouthpiece, will help slow down the drug particles. So the amount of medicine left in the child’s mouth and throat will be reduced and more will reach the lungs. The drug arriving in greater quantity in the airways, the treatment will be more effective.

Are there different types of inhalation chambers?

Each child must have their own inhalation chamber. Most inhalation chambers are compatible with all metered dose inhalers. There are different mask sizes depending on your child’s age. The mask should cover your child’s nose and mouth tightly without covering the eyes. From 4-5 years old, it is possible to opt for an inhalation chamber without a mask but with a mouthpiece. The mouthpiece helps to remove the nasal filter and the amount of medication that reaches the lungs is much higher than with the facial mask. To do this, your child should be able to breathe through the mouth only and keep his / her lips tightly tightened around the mouthpiece.

How to use the inhalation chamber with facial mask?

  1. Remove the cap from the metered dose inhaler.
  2. Shake the metered dose inhaler.
  3. Place the aerosol dispenser vertically, mouthpiece down, in the opening of the inhalation chamber. Prepare your child by sitting comfortably.
  4. Apply the mask on the nose and mouth tightly.
  5. Administer a dose of spray in the inhalation chamber by pressing the aerosol.
  6. Let your child breathe 5 to 10 times in the inhalation chamber to allow absorption of the drug.
  7. Remove the mask from your child’s face and remove the aerosol from the inhalation chamber.
  8. Wipe your child’s face and ask him to drink or rinse his mouth if inhaling the background treatment (corticosteroids).

It is recommended to administer only one puff at a time. If your child has to take several puffs of the same medicine, repeat steps 2 to 7.

How to use an inhalation chamber with mouthpiece?

  1. Remove the cap from the metered dose inhaler.
  2. Shake the metered dose inhaler.
  3. Place the aerosol dispenser vertically, mouthpiece down, in the opening of the inhalation chamber.
  4. Have your child close his lips around the mouthpiece so that air does not escape.
  5. Administer a dose of spray in the inhalation chamber by pressing the aerosol.
  6. Let your child breathe by mouth 5 times in the inhalation chamber, being careful that he does not breathe through his nose. When in doubt, ask him to pinch his nose.
  7. Have your child remove the chamber from his mouth and remove the aerosol from the inhalation chamber.
  8. Ask your child to drink or rinse the mouth if inhaling the background treatment (corticosteroids).

If your child has to take several puffs of the same medicine, repeat steps 2 to 7.

Is there an order in the administration of different treatments?

Treatments should not be mixed but administered successively. If the doctor has prescribed a short-acting bronchodilator, it is recommended to administer it first before the corticosteroid. Bronchodilation will facilitate the penetration of the background treatment (corticosteroids) into the lungs.

How to maintain the inhalation chamber?

It is advisable to clean the inhalation chamber before first use and then once a week. Disassemble the chamber before cleaning. Soak in water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Let it air dry. Do not use a cloth to wipe it as this will make the wall of the chamber electrostatic. This would reduce the effect of treatment because some of the drug would stick on the wall of the room. It should be noted that inhalation chambers have a limited life span (from 6 months to 1 year depending on the model). Do not hesitate to renew it if it seems damaged (scratches, cracks, etc.).

Proper use of the inhalation chamber is important because poor inhalation technique can compromise the effectiveness of treatment and is associated with poor asthma control. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor or pharmacist. It is advisable to bring the room during consultations so that the doctor can check its operation and your technique. 

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