Single-Dose Dry Powder Inhaler

how to use dry powder inhaler device the right way respiratory wellness program in the Philippines

Dry Powder Inhaler – Single Dose

What is a Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI)?

A dry powder inhaler (DPI) is a type of hand-held portable device that deliver medication to your lungs. The device is breath-activated, and the medication is released only when you take a deep, fast breath into the inhaler. This type of inhaler does not require coordination of inhaler actuation with inhalation. Compared to the pMDI, the DPI utilizes a capsule form of the drug, which will be shattered or aggregated into fine molecules when the patient inhales via the principle of aerodynamics. This device is intended for maintenance therapy among patients with COPD and Asthma. Examples of such inhalers are: Breezehaler, Handihaler, Ellipta, Diskus, Turbuhaler.

There are two types of DPI: a single dose inhaler and a multiple dose inhaler. In this video, we will be teaching you the use of single dose inhalers. Single-dose devices require individual doses to be loaded into the device with each use.

single dose dry powder inhaler device manual

Parts of a DPI

There are several parts in a single-dose dry powder inhaler. The cap, base and blisters. Once you remove the cap, you will see the button and the mouth piece. Opening the mouth piece will let you see the capsule chamber and screen.

How to use DPI

Drug delivery is highly reliant on the correct inhaler technique. Poor control of symptoms and frequent exacerbations are attributed to poor inhaler technique. When using a DPI, one must breathe in fast and deep. The most common critical errors encountered with the use of DPI are due to incorrect inhalation technique and not holding one’s breath after taking in the medication.

Getting ready to use:

Priming is not required for single-dose DPI. Each inhaler will have different priming instructions. For your safety, it is important to check the expiry date and dose counter of your multi-dose DPI before using it.


  1. Pull off the mouth piece cover and open the chamber.
  2. Remove the capsule from the blister pack, make sure your hands are clean and dry so as not to leave any moisture on the capsule.
  3. Place the capsule in the capsule chamber and ensure that it is properly placed to avoid displacing the capsule from the device.
  4. Close the mouth piece. You should hear a click when the mouth piece is closed.
  5. Perforate the capsule by pressing or squeezing the two side buttons and let go.
  6. Breathe out all the way.
  7. Sit up properly and tilt your head back slightly.
  8. Put the mouth piece into your mouth between your lips.
  9. Inhale fast and deep. You know this is correct when you hear a distinctive whirring noise as the capsule spins.
  10. Remove the inhaler from your mouth and hold your breath for as long as you can up to 10 seconds.
  11. Exhale through your mouth.
  12. To make you maximize the capsule, open the mouthpiece and look at the capsule. If the capsule is transparent, it means you have delivered the dose. If there’s still powder left in the capsule, close the mouthpiece and repeat steps 6- 11.
  13. Remove the capsule from the chamber and dispose of it properly.

DPI Cleaning and Storage
For most DPIs, you only need to wipe the mouthpiece with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth. An additional step is needed for single-unit DPIs wherein you need to wipe the capsule chamber and screen as well for any powder residue. This can be done at least twice a week. DO NOT RINSE OR SOAK YOUR DEVICE IN WATER.
Store in a cool dry place.

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