How to use your Turbuhaler

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 a Turbuhaler.


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

  • Bricanyl (terbutaline)
  • Oxis (eformoterol)
  • Pulmicort (budesonide)
  • Symbicort (budesonide plus eformoterol)

Checklist of steps

  1. Unscrew and remove cover
  2. Check dose counter
  3. Keep inhaler upright while twisting grip at the base: twist around and then back until click is heard
  4. Breathe out gently (away from inhaler)
  5. Place mouthpiece between teeth (without biting) and close lips to form a good seal. (Do not cover the air vents)
  6. Breathe in strongly and deeply
  7. Remove inhaler from mouth
  8. Breathe out gently (away from inhaler)
  9. If more than one dose is needed, repeat all steps starting at step 3
  10. Replace cover

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

Potential errors

  • Not holding the inhaler upright while loading the dose
  • Not completing both steps of the loading procedure (around and then back)
  • Not breathing in strongly enough to draw the medication out of the inhaler
  • Moisture getting inside from breathing into the inhaler or leaving the cover off


  • Place the inhaler on a flat surface (e.g. a table) when loading the dose to make sure it stays completely vertical
  • Read the dose counter in the middle of the window
  • Always put the cover back on the inhaler after use
  • 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.
  • 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

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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