How to use your Accuhaler

Using your inhaler (puffer) properly is important when you have asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

This short video shows you how to use an Accuhaler.


An Accuhaler is used with a number of different medications. These include:

  • Flixotide (fluticasone propionate)
  • Flixotide Junior (fluticasone propionate)
  • Seretide (fluticasone propionate plus salmeterol)
  • Serevent (salmeterol)

Checklist of steps

  1. Check dose counter
  2. Open cover (use thumb grip)
  3. Load dose: keep device horizontal while sliding lever until it clicks (Do not shake)
  4. Breathe out gently (away from inhaler)
  5. Place mouthpiece in mouth (without biting) and close lips to form a good seal. (Keep inhaler horizontal)
  6. Breathe in steadily and deeply
  7. Hold breath for about 5 seconds or as long as comfortable
  8. While holding breath, remove inhaler from mouth
  9. Breathe out gently (away from inhaler)
  10. Close cover to click shut
  11. If more than one dose is needed,* repeat all steps starting from step 2

* Not usually appropriate for medicines delivered by Accuhaler.

Your inhaler will come with instructions in the package. Always check the package insert for any specific instructions.

Common problems

  • Not loading a dose before inhaling
  • Not holding the inhaler horizontally while loading and taking the dose
  • Not breathing in strongly enough to draw the medication out of the inhaler
  • Not holding breath for long enough
  • Moisture getting inside from breathing into the inhaler or leaving the cover open


  • Never hold the inhaler with the mouthpiece pointing down during or after loading a dose, as this can dislodge the medication. Keep it horizontal.
  • You can test whether you are breathing in strongly enough by placing a dark handkerchief or fine cloth over the mouthpiece before using the inhaler. A very fine layer of powder should be visible on the cloth if you have breathed in strongly enough to draw medication out of the inhaler.
  • Always close the inhaler after use
  • If you are using this inhaler for a corticosteroid preventer medication, rinse your mouth with water and spit after inhaling the last dose to reduce the risk of side-effects

Getting the most out of your inhaler

Ask your doctor, pharmacist or asthma & respiratory educator to:

  • Explain how your inhaler should be used
  • Check you are using your inhaler properly
  • Tell you where to find the expiry date on your inhaler
  • Show you how to check if your inhaler is empty or nearly empty
  • Discuss any unwanted effects from your medication
  • Explain how to clean your inhaler and spacer (if you have one).

Different brands of inhalers sometimes have slightly different instructions to each other for similar steps. The checklists in our How-To Video library have been simplified and standardised where possible to reduce confusion.

Your inhaler will come with instructions in the package. Always check the package insert for any specific instructions.

Other inhaler types

See our complete How-to video library for other inhaler types and how to use them.


Thanks to Ms Judi Wicking, asthma and respiratory educator, and the patient who participated in this film clip.

Development of this How-to video was supported by the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs as part of the Prevent Puffer Problems campaign. The National Asthma Council Australia retained editorial control.


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