A practical guide to inhalers

9) Accuhaler®

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My name is Sam Alcroft, and I have a respiratory condition.
The result of that is I have to use one of these, an Accuhaler. Mine is purple, yours might be a different colour. I’m going to give you a quick and easy guide to using one of these, however I do recommend that you read the instructions fully and keep them somewhere safe, so you can always refer to them. I will cover a few important points about the inhaler, then I will talk you through on how to use it, before I actually demonstrate using it. Finally I will give you some tips on cleaning, storing, reordering, what to do you if you miss or take too much and what to do when you’re visiting a hospital or clinic. Some inhalers are given to prevent flare-ups. You must take these regularly at the same time each day. They would not prevent flare-ups if you used only when your condition got worse. This is because they can take a few days or more to work. The Accuhaler is a dry powder inhaler. This means that the drug comes in the form of a dry powder, which is inhaled directly into your lungs.

The Accuhaler is a nice compact style, has a nice thumb grip. Which you use to slide open, to reveal the mouthpiece. The second lever slides open, and that disperses the drug, ready to use. Your dose counter is this small window here. Starts from 60, working its way down. It’ll go red once it reaches 5. And that gives you an indicator of when to reorder. Once you receive your new inhaler check the expiry date on the box. If you’ve already threw the box away there’s also an expiry date actually on the inhaler as shown here. When you collect your new inhaler it’ll be in a box and also in a foil wrap.

Do not open this until you’re ready to use your inhaler. Tear along the foil wrapping from the jagged edge, throw away the foil. Your inhaler is ready to use. Hold your inhaler in one hand, with your other hand place your thumb in the thumb grip. And push away from you (CLICK) You’ll know when it’s in position when you hear that click. And now you’ve exposed your mouthpiece. To load your inhaler, slide the lever down on the side. Always remember to keep your inhaler in an upright position. Slide the lever down until you hear it click (CLICK). Like so Your inhaler is ready for action. Hold the inhaler away from you, and exhale as much as possible. Remember and not to breathe out, into the inhaler. Like so. (EXHALES) This will give you a nice deep breath in, when ready. Once you do that, put the mouth piece to your mouth and seal it with your lips. And take a big deep breath in. Take the inhaler away from your mouth and hold your breath for up to 10 seconds. After 10 seconds you can exhale slowly. Close the inhaler by placing your thumb in the thumb grip and pulling it back towards you (CLICK) This will also reset the lever. Now I’m gonna show you how to do it. (CLICK, CLICK, EXHALES, INHALES DEEPLY, EXHALES SLOWLY, CLICK CLICK).

After using your inhaler it’s always recommended that you brush your teeth, or use a mouth wash. The side effects of the inhaler is that you may have a mild infection, or a voice hoarseness. Clean your inhaler at least once a week, with a dry tissue. Simply just brush over the mouthpiece (CLICK) and close. Always keep your inhaler somewhere that won’t get moist or wet. It’s also a good idea to keep it somewhere that you would remember to take it, such as your bedside cabinet or kitchen table. If you forget to take your inhaler, and it’s only one or two hours then that’s fine. Take it. If it’s longer than two hours, then just skip it and get back on track on your next dose. If you take too much, then contact a healthcare professional for advice. The inhaler has a dose counter. It counts down from 60 to 0. The numbers turn red when you have 5 left. This is when should order a new one and not before. As they may expire. Finally, when popping along to a clinic or a hospital visit. It’s always handy to take along your inhalers and any other prescribed medicine that you may be on, to have them checked out by a healthcare professional.