Spacer devices

MDI spacer

Using a spacer device can improve deposition of a drug to lower airways by up to 50%. 1,2

They reduce the need for co-ordination of inspiration and activation of the inhaler.

They are also used when the person has poor inhaler technique such as not being able to hold a breath for up to 10 seconds or when they are unable to take a long slow breath. Some people with cognitive or dexterity issues can benefit from using a spacer.

Spacers should be cleaned regularly as specified by manufacturers guidelines which are included in each spacer pack. They should be replaced at least every 12 months.

They are usually used with MDI inhalers as some inhalers do not fit on to a spacer.


  1. Thorsson, L., Kenyon, C., Newman, S. P. & Borgström, L. Lung deposition of budesonide in asthmatics: A comparison of different formulations. Int. J. Pharm. 168, 119–127 (1998)
  2. Everard, M. L., Devadason, S. G., Summers, Q. A. & Le Souef, P. N.Factors affecting total and 'respirable' dose delivered by a salbutamol metered dose inhaler. Thorax 50, 746–749 (1995)