Can You Use a Nebulizer and Inhaler at the Same Time

Can You Use a Nebulizer and Inhaler at the Same Time

Doctors often recommend nebulizers and inhalers for respiratory conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (1), and lung conditions. Using a nebulizer and inhaler together can reduce the effects of symptoms and improve lung conditions.

Nebulizers and Inhalers are standard devices that deliver the effects of medication directly to the lungs. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but using them together could be effective in some situations. However, it is essential to use these medical devices under a doctor’s prescription.

If you are dealing with a lung condition and wondering if you can use a nebulizer and inhaler together, the article will give an insight. Let’s first learn how nebulizers and inhalers work and how to use them together for maximum benefits.



A nebulizer (2) is a device that transforms liquid medicine into mist, which is then delivered directly to the lungs. It is used to deliver bronchodilators, corticosteroids, and other respiratory medications.
Nebulizers are helpful for patients who find it challenging to use inhalers, especially young children and newborns with respiratory conditions.

It comes in three types-

  • Jet nebulizer.
  • Mesh nebulizer.
  • Ultrasonic nebulizer.



The Inhaler (3) is a pocket-friendly, compact, portable, and easy-to-use device. It is prevalent in patients for daily maintenance therapy.

Generally, to dispense the medication, you must press down on the medicine-containing canister or a button on the device.

In some inhalers, however, the device is activated by simply inhaling once your lips are sealed around the mouthpiece. This is called a breath-actuated inhaler (4).

It also comes in three types-

  • Metered dose inhalers (MDIs).
  • Dry powder inhalers (DPIs).
  • Soft mist inhalers (SMIs).

Conditions Where in Using a Nebulizer and Inhaler Together May Be Appropriate

1. Severe Respiratory Symptoms

Inhalers are used among people with severe respiratory conditions such as sneezing, shortness of breath, and heaviness in the chest. In this condition, using an inhaler and nebulizer together provides quick relief.
Nebulizers deliver large doses of medicines directly to the lungs, and inhalers can be used for quick relief.

2. Chronic Respiratory Condition

Using inhalers and nebulizers together can give immediate relief for chronic respiratory conditions such as COPD or cystic fibrosis. Nebulizers can manage the symptoms, and inhalers immediately relieve this condition.

3. Compatibility of Medicines

Some medicines are found in both inhaler and nebulizer form. Using them together can provide more effective treatment.

For example, combining a bronchodilator and a corticosteroid delivered via a nebulizer or inhaler may be more effective than using either device alone.

Benefits of Using Nebulizer and Inhaler Together

1. Improved Medication Delivery

Both devices allow more medication to be delivered to the lungs, which may reach deeper into the airways than inhalers.

A nebulizer converts medication into mist and delivers it to the lungs. Inhalers deliver a metered dose of medicines directly to the lungs. Both provide focused treatment to the affected area.

2. Flexible Treatment Options

Patients can use nebulizers and inhalers for severe symptoms. This can be a long-term therapy; patients can adjust their treatment routine according to their symptoms and condition.

3 Improved Symptom Control

The synergistic effects of nebulizers and inhalers may improve symptom control and lung function.
Nebulizers provide rapid relief by delivering high doses of medication directly to the lungs, while inhalers offer sustained benefits for long-term management.

4. Medication Compatibility

Not all medications are suitable for both nebulizer and inhaler use.

Healthcare providers should assess the compatibility of medications with each delivery device and adjust treatment plans accordingly.

How to Use a Nebulizer and Inhaler

If the doctor prescribes an inhaler and nebulizer, you should know how to use them correctly to make the most out of them. Here is how you can use them more effectively.

1. Prepare the Nebulizer

Fill the nebulizer cup with the prescribed medicine. Attach the mouthpiece to the nebulizer.

2. Start the Nebulizer

After connecting it to the compressor, please turn it on.
The nebulizer converts the medicine into the mist at some point.

3. Inhale the Mist

Put your mouth on a mouthpiece and inhale the medicine slowly and deeply. Continuous inhaling is recommended until the entire liquid medicine has evaporated. It will take only 10-15 minutes.

4. Use the Inhaler

After using the nebulizer, wait for some time, then use your inhaler as prescribed by the doctor.
Shake the inhaler first and exhale fully after removing its lid. Put the mouthpiece on your mouth and press down the canister to release the medication. Inhale deeply and slowly, and hold your breath for a few seconds.

5. Rinse and Clean

After completing the process, rinse your mouth with water to clean any residual medication. Clean the devices, too, for future use.


People suffering from lung and respiratory disorders are prescribed nebulizers and inhalers to manage the symptoms. Difficulty breathing and constant congestion in the chest makes life difficult. It is when these medical devices work like wonders.

You can use both nebulizer and inhaler together, but it’s essential to use both under the guidance and supervision of a doctor.

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