Instructables
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Picture of How does an Advair dispenser work?
Did you ever wonder how an Advair Discus dispenser works? I did. Here's what I found.
 
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Step 1: Remove the outer cover

Picture of Remove the outer cover
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 Peel the labels off to expose the center axle.
This whole thing just snaps together and will just as easily unsnap to come apart.
Pry the outer case away from the inner carrier and it will pop off.
Once free, the inner carrier easily slides out.

Step 2: Open the inner carrier

 This is the meat of the device. It's all snap together pieces though so it comes apart easily.
First, pop off the mouthpiece.
Then work your way around the edge to free the 3 snaps. Finally, there are 2 more snaps under the mouthpiece and the top will pop right off.

Step 3: Examining the inside.

Picture of Examining the inside.
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 Now that the unit is open, We find that the medicine was contained within dimples along a strip of foil in much the same way as caps from an old cap gun held a small powder charge. One side of the device peels a foil cover from the dimples to expose each next dose of medicine. This happens every time you depress the cocking lever.
These rolls slide easily off their capstans.

Step 4: In to the gears

Picture of In to the gears
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 This is a pretty ingenious device.
It has a counter to let you know how many of the 60 doses remain and clutches so if you fail to fully cock it, the next attempt completes the action instead of wasting a dose.
Now all I need to do is figure out what to build into it.
Onkei5 years ago
Weird I just opened my old one a few days ago, for the same purpose. To find out how it works.
yeehacmh5 years ago
Every time I see one of these I think of that pistol that hides in the palm.
connoljj5 years ago
This is incredibly timely!  I was just wondering exactly how it worked this morning!!!  Thanks for the great article.
Marsh (author) 5 years ago
 I did this because some friends were wondering if there was any way to overdose. Due to the nature of the advancing medicine pods, I would say, NO there is no way to OD on advair.
kelseymh5 years ago
Very interesting, and good documentation of the disassembly!

So theoretically, this could be made much "greener" by providing the user with a single dispenser case, and just refilling it with new spools of medication. 

Of course, that's how birth-control packaging is supposed to work, too, but they send my wife a whole complete plastic case with blister pack for each one :-(