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Spacer devices

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Spacers improve drug delivery to the lungs by allowing the aerosol to decelerate and the propellant to evaporate. It is particularly useful in

  • children
  • people on high doses of corticosteroids
  • people with poor inhalation techniques (difficulties with coordinating actuation of an inhaler and inspiration) (1).

Spacers maximize the amount of medication delivered to the lung by allowing the aerosol to decelerate and the propellant to evaporate. This result in minimsing the amount of drug deposited in the mouth and throat thus reducing the incidence of oral candidiasis and dysphonia.

  • the aerosol should be inhaled immediately after actuation; the device should not be actuated multiple times in quick succession (2)
  • they are not interchangeable and should always use the same type of spacer which is compatible with the inhaler (1)
  • should be replaced at least every 12 months (some spacers after 6 months) (2)
  • careful washing and air-drying of plastic spacers at appropriate intervals is needed to reduce adhesion of the drug to the surface thus reducing its delivery (3)


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