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The metered-dose inhaler (MDI) is a pressurized canister of
medicine that releases a medicated mist. Your child inhales the
mist into the airways of his lungs. Inhaled asthma medicines
contain a gas that helps the medicine get into your lungs.
Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) depletes the ozone layer in our
atmosphere. It has been replaced by hydrofluoroalkane (HFA). The
medicine in HFA inhalers is the same as the medicine in CFC
inhalers. It's the gas used to push the medicine out of the
inhaler that is changing. The HFA inhaler looks just like a CFC
inhaler, but is a little different. The spray comes out with less
force, is warmer, and has a slightly different taste. It is not
felt as much in the throat when inhaled, but you still get the
right amount of medicine.
The MDI can be used alone, but it is highly recommended that your
child use a spacer or valved holding device attached to the MDI.
Several different types of medicines are available as MDIs,
When a child is using more than one type of MDI, he will usually
use the bronchodilator first.
There are several ways to use an MDI. If your child is not using a
spacer or valved holding device, the technique most often
recommended is as follows: