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.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology

Current as ofAugust 21, 2015

Current as of: August 21, 2015

Author: Healthwise Staff

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