Medication for my childs asthma

3) Why use a spacer?

Large volume spacer

Large volume spacer

  • It can be difficult for children to co-ordinate breathing and pressing their metered dose inhaler.
  • The spacer holds the dose of medicine so your child can take several normal breaths in and out to get all the medicine in to the lungs.
  • This normal breathing method using the spacer is just as effective  without the need to hold their breath and then breathe in quickly.
  • A spacer allows more medicine to reach the lung.

For more information on using inhalers with a spacer see ‘A practical guide to inhalers’.

Spacer devices are also used for ‘multi-dosing’. Multi-dosing means taking more than the usual two puffs via the spacer.This is a great way of getting medication to the lungs especially in asthma attacks – in actual fact this method is as effective as using a nebuliser. The inhaler should be fitted into the spacer after shaking, pressed once and inhaled normally over 5 – 10 breaths. These steps should then be repeated as directed, usually for between 5 and 10 doses of the inhaler, shaking before doses as usual. It is important though that each dose is inhaled separately – it won’t be as effective if more than one dose is fired from the inhaler rapidly after each other, they need to be given and taken individually.