Follow these step-by-step instructions to administer different types of asthma medicine.

November 18, 2014

Asthma causes children to cough, wheeze, and experience chest tightness or breathing troubles that are the result of inflamed lung passages. Symptoms can worsen if the lungs become irritated because of allergies, weather changes, exercise, or illness. There are two different types of asthma medications: short-term control medication and long-term control medication. The short-term control medication needs to be used with care as it can cause serious side effects if overused or administered incorrectly.

How to Administer Different Types of Asthma Medication

There are a few different types of inhalers on the market.


A discus is a powder-based inhaler that requires the following steps:

  • Open it by pushing the protective cover down and sliding the lever until you hear a click.
  • Have your child exhale completely before bringing the discus to his mouth.
  • Have your child close his lips tightly against the mouthpiece and breathe in deeply through the mouth. Then, remove the discus from the mouth before he exhales.
  • Repeat for additional doses as necessary.
  • Close the discus before sliding the cover back into its place.


This turbuinhaler also contains a dry powder base that requires the following steps:

  • Unscrew and remove the protective cover. Twist the turning base fully to the right and then back to the left until a click is heard.
  • Have your child exhale completely before bringing the turbuhaler to her mouth.
  • The mouthpiece should go between the teeth, and the lips should close over the case.
  • Have your child breathe in deeply through her mouth.
  • Remove the inhaler.
  • Repeat for additional doses as necessary.


The aero-chamber is a metered dose inhaler that makes it easier to breathe in all the medicine and requires the following steps:

  • Shake the metered dose inhaler.
  • Remove the cap and insert the mouthpiece into the end of the aero-chamber.
  • Hold the aero-chamber flat and place the face mask over your child's nose and mouth. (Older children can take the medication without the mask.)
  • Press the aerosol once to release the medication into the aero-chamber. Have your child take five to 10 breaths so the medication is inhaled.
  • Check to make sure valves in the chamber move as your child breathes.


Also known as a compressor, the nebulizer requires these steps:

  • Fill the nebulizer with medication.
  • Switch the mouthpiece on to release vaporized medication.
  • Place the child's mouth around the mouthpiece and have him inhale the medicine.
  • When the dose is completed, turn off the nebulizer.

Always contact the doctor if your child:

  • Is coughing up mucus.
  • Has worsening symptoms
  • Still experiences difficulty breathing after administering medication
  • Has less than 50 percent of her breathing capacity after 20 to 30 minutes
  • Is still not at peak breathing capacity after six hours

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