The Asthma Center

Nebulizer instructions

A nebulizer can be used occasionally, daily (1 - 4 times per day), or even more than 4 times a day during an acute asthmatic attack. Treatments usually last 5 - 10 minutes.

  • Check that your machine, nebulizer bowl and tubing are clean and in good working order before and after use.
  • Hold the nebulizer bowl or chamber stationary, screw off the cap, and add your medication.
  • Use a single premixed dose vial (albuterol, AccuNeb®, Intal®, Pulmicort Respules®, Xopenex®) or add the prescribed dose of the medicated solution (albuterol, Proventil®) to a diluent (saline or cromolyn). Place the medication(s) in the nebulizer bowl and close the bowl.
  • Insert the mouthpiece into the nebulizer bowl or attach a mask for infants.
  • Attach the tubing to the inlet of the nebulizer bowl and turn the unit on.
  • Hold the mouthpiece between your teeth and close your mouth gently around the mouthpiece, sealing it with your lips (see below).

  • Turn on the machine and a mist should exit the mouthpiece.
  • Breathe slowly and slightly more deeply than usual (10 - 15 times per minute).
  • If the treatment needs to be interrupted, just shut off the machine and resume its use later.
  • If using an aerosol mask, place the mask over your mouth and nose.
  • Clean your machine and nebulizer bowl regularly as per the manufacturer's instructions. Keep a spare nebulizer bowl available should the one you are using suddenly stop working.