If your doctor has recommended that you use a nebuliser at home this page will explain what a nebuliser is and how you should use it.


A nebuliser is a device which is used to administer a solution of drug in the form of a fine mist for you to inhale. The pump (compressor unit) forces air through the liquid (drug solution) in the drug chamber (nebuliser chamber). This changes the liquid into a fine mist which you breathe in through a mask or mouthpiece.


  • Plug the compressor unit into the mains. Connect the tubing from the compressor unit to the bottom of the nebuliser chamber.
  • Unscrew the top of the nebuliser chamber. Open the vial of drug solution by twisting off the top. Measure out the correct amount of drug solution and pour into the nebuliser chamber. (Your doctor may have told you to use all the contents of entire vial).
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before mixing two or more drug solutions in your nebuliser chamber.
  • Sometimes you may need to dilute the drug solution. If your doctor has recommended that you dilute the solution, add the required amount of normal saline. DO NOT dilute the drug solution with water. You need around 4-5ml solution in the nebuliser chamber for it to work properly.
  • Screw on the top of the nebuliser chamber and attach the face mask or mouthpiece to the top of the chamber.


  • Place the facemask over your mouth and nose and place the strap over your head; alternatively, if you use a mouthpiece place it between your lips.
  • Sit up, well supported, in a chair or in bed and keep the nebulizer chamber upright.
  • Switch the compressor unit on and breath in and out as normal. Relax whilst using your nebuliser, perhaps by watching television.
  • Whilst your nebuliser is in use, small drops of drug solution may form on the sides of the nebuliser chamber. You can knock these droplets back into the drug solution by gently tapping the side of the nebuliser chamber with your fingernail.
  • When the nebuliser starts to 'splutter' the treatment has finished – this will take between 10 and 20 minutes. A small amount of solution may be left in the nebuliser at this stage, but this is normal.
  • Switch off the compressor unit and disconnect the nebuliser chamber from the tubing.


  • Each time you use it, wash the nebuliser chamber in warm soapy water and then rinse thoroughly with clean water. Do not use a brush to clean the nebuliser chamber as you may damage it.
  • Reconnect the nebuliser chamber to the tubing and blow air from the compressor unit through it for a few seconds. This will dry the the nebuliser chamber and tubing. Disconnect the nebuliser chamber from the the tubing and allow it to dry completely. Disconnect the tubing fron the compressor unit.
  • Once a week, rinse the nebuliser chamber with a dilute solution of Milton or a special nebuliser cleaner. Rinse the nebuliser chamber with clean water and then dry as before.
  • Make sure you check your tubing regularly for kinking or holes as these may affect the performance of your nebuliser. Tubing should be replaced every six months or so.
  • Your nebuliser chamber should last for around four months before you need to replace it. If it is taking longer than normal to to nebulise the drug solution, it may be that you need a new nebuliser chamber. Ask your pharmacist to order one for you.
  • You should not normally use an oxygen cylinder to drive your nebuliser.

IMPORTANT! If you do not get the usual relief from your symptoms by using your nebuliser, call your doctor at once.


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