Turbuhalers

Medication Information Leaflet

​What are Turbuhalers?

  • Turbuhalers are inhaler devices that help deliver a specific amount of medication to your lungs.
  • They are used to deliver medications that are used for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Both asthma and COPD affect the lungs which makes it harder for the person to breathe. 

Why is it important to use Turbuhalers correctly?

  • Turbuhalers deliver a very small dose of the medication each time, thus you usually do not feel or taste anything after a dose.
  • Hence, it is important to use the Turbuhalers correctly to get the full dosage and benefit from the medication.
  • This allows the medication to have a higher chance of reaching the small airways, which increases the effectiveness of the medication and helps to reduce any side effects.

How do Turbuhalers work?

Each Turbuhaler consists of a plastic device that contains dry powdered medication. It is activated by breath. This means that when you inhale, the Turbuhaler automatically releases the medication.

How should I take/use Turbuhalers?

For all Turbuhalers other than Symbicort and Pulmicort:

Steps Description
1Unscrew and remove the cap.
2Hold the Turbuhaler upright with base downwards.
3Twist the base as far as possible in one direction.
4Twist it back in the opposite direction until you hear a click. This means the Turbuhaler is primed and ready for use.
5Breathe out gently, away from the Turbuhaler.
6Place the mouthpiece in your mouth and seal tightly with your lips.
7Breathe in forcefully and deeply with your mouth.
8Remove the inhaler and hold your breath for about 10 seconds or as long as you can.
9Breathe out slowly, away from the inhaler.
10If another dose is required, repeat steps 2 to 9 after 1 minute.
11Replace the cap.
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Turbuhalers feature either a dose counter to show the exact number of doses left or a red indicator at the side of the device. Consult your healthcare professional if you are unsure.
For Symbicort and Pulmicort:

Steps Description
1Unscrew and remove the cap.
2Hold the inhaler upright with base downwards.
3Twist the base as far as possible in one direction.
4Twist it back in the opposite direction until you hear a click.
5Repeat steps 3 and 4 again for one time. The inhaler is now ready for use, and you should not repeat this procedure again.
6To take a dose, twist the base as far as possible in one direction.
7

Twist it back in the opposite direction until you hear a click.

This means that for the first dose, you will hear a total of 3 clicks. For subsequent doses, you should only hear one click.

8Breathe out gently, away from the inhaler.
9Place the mouthpiece in your mouth and seal tightly with your lips.
10Breathe in forcefully and deeply.
11Remove the inhaler and hold your breath for about 10 seconds or as long as you can.
12Breathe out slowly through your mouth, away from the inhaler.
13If another dose is required, repeat steps 6 to 12 after 1 minute.
14Replace the cap.
15

Symbicort is marked in intervals of ten doses, starting from either 60 or 120 when full. For the last ten doses, the background of the indicator is red. Consult your healthcare professional if you are unsure.

For Pulmicort, a red mark will appear at the top of the indicator window when there are approximately twenty doses left. The inhaler should be discarded when the red mark has reached the bottom of the indicator window

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If your Turbuhaler contains a steroid, please rinse your mouth with water after use to prevent oral fungal infection.

What should I avoid when using Turbuhalers?

  • Not holding the Turbuhaler upright while turning the base – if the Turbuhaler is not held upright as you turn the base, it will not deliver a full dose.
  • Do not blow into the Turbuhaler or immerse it into water.
  • Do not continue using the Turbuhaler after the last dose is delivered even if you hear powder when you shake the Turbuhaler. The powder is the drying agent and not the medication.

How should I store Turbubalers?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.

How should I clean my Turbuhalers?

Wipe the outside of the mouthpiece regularly (once a week) with a dry tissue. Do not use water or liquids when you clean the mouthpiece.

How should I throw away the Turbuhaler safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.


Disclaimers
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last reviewed on October 2020
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Turbuhalers

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