How can I know if my inhaler is empty?

Shaking or "puffing" your inhaler won't tell you how much medication is left in your inhaler. That's because even after the medication is gone, some of the propellant used to push the medication out will remain in the canister. So even an "empty" inhaler may still puff or feel full. Tracking your doses is the only way to know how much medication is left. Here's how to track:
  1. Check the canister label to see how many "puffs" it contains.
  2. Figure out how many puffs you will take per day (for example, 2 puffs, 2 times a day = 4 puffs a day).
  3. Divide your answer from step 1 by your answer from step 2.
  4. On the canister, write the date that you start the inhaler. Also write the date you should discard it (based on your calculations).
  5. When you reach the "discard date," throw away the canister and start a new one. If you keep an empty canister lying around, you're likely to get it mixed up -- and then you won't have medication when you need it.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.