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Search Health Information    Spacer for Metered-Dose Inhalers (MDIs)

Spacer for Metered-Dose Inhalers (MDIs)

A young person using a metered-dose inhaler with a spacer

© Healthwise, Incorporated

A spacer is a chamber that can be attached to a metered-dose inhaler (MDI). The spacer chamber may have a one-way valve that allows the medicine to be held in the chamber before it is inhaled. This way you can inhale the medicine in one or many breaths, depending on your ability. A spacer:

  • Helps prevent getting a yeast infection in your mouth (candidiasis) or making your voice sound hoarse (dysphonia).
  • Increases the amount of medicine delivered directly to your airways, even if you have difficulty using your inhaler.
  • Reduces the amount of medicine swallowed, which minimizes side effects.

A spacer may be used with an inhaler, especially one that contains corticosteroids. Spacers also may be used by children who have difficulty using a metered-dose inhaler correctly. Do not use a dry powder inhaler (DPI) with a spacer.

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Last Revised February 22, 2013

Last Revised: February 22, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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