What is a Turbuhaler?


Q: Is your inhaler device right for you?
Q: Are you able to inhale correctly?
Q: Are you obtaining the full dose with each inhalation?
Q: Have you had your inhaler/device technique checked with a health professional? 

Your inhaler technique should be checked 6 monthly or whenever your inhaler device has changed - your asthma nurse can help you do this with practice tools that make a noise indicating correct inhalation.

The Turbuhaler is the most common dry powder inhaler used in New Zealand. It has no propellant or carrier added to the medicine. You will hardly notice any powder in your mouth. The recommended age of use is 5-7 years through to adult.

Question...Turbuhaler 1st use preparation

Before using a turbuhaler for the first time you need to prepare the turbuhaler for use. ‘PRIME’ your turbuhaler, this only needs to be done when used for the very first time.

  1. Unscrew and lift off cover
  2. Hold the inhaler upright, do not hold the mouth piece
  3. Turn the grip as far as it will go in both directions, you will hear a click!
  4. Perform this step twice
  5. You are now ready to take your first dose of medication

Turbuhaler device technique

  1. ‘Twist’  -  Unscrew and remove the cover. Hold the turbuhaler upright. Twist the grip.
  2. ‘Click’  -  Twist the grip back in the other direction until you hear a click. Your turbuhaler is now loaded with one dose of medicine (one dose is a tiny amount of fine powder).
  3. ‘Breathe Out’  -  Breathe out, away from the turbuhaler, as much as able. Do not blow directly into the turbuhaler.
  4. ‘Breathe In’  -  Place the mouth piece in your mouth and form a seal with your lips. Breathe in deeply.

Turbuhaler dose indicator

If your turbuhaler has a dose counter you can see how many doses you have got left. When you see the dose indicator turn red it is time to get a new turbuhaler. Some turbuhalers may not show number of doses but they will all have an indicator window displaying red when running low.

Some common mistakes when using the turbuhaler

  • Not holding the inhaler upright when priming
  • Covering the air inlets with lips
  • Breathing in through the nose instead of the mouth
  • Shaking the inhaler to see how much is left
  • Storing inhaler in a damp environment with the cap off

(Some information from Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ)


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