1. The efficacy of a metered dose inhaler (MDI) is highly dependent on the mode of inhalation. The relatively high built-in resistance in the Turbohaler (TBH), a new dry powder inhaler device for inhalation of terbutaline sulphate and budesonide, reduces the flow during inhalation. We compared five different modes of inhalation using the terbutaline TBH in 10 stable asthmatic subjects, who were tested on 5 consecutive days. 2. Measurement of 10 different parameters of pulmonary function indicated that the full bronchodilatory effect of an inhaled dose was already achieved at 5 min after the inhalation. Inspiratory flows through the TBH varying from 34 to 88 l min-1 resulted in comparable bronchodilation, and a previous exhalation to residual volume proved of no value. However, if, prior to inhalation, an exhalation through the device was performed, a substantially reduced effect was seen. 3. Reducing the inspiratory flow to approximately 34 l min-1 produced slightly reduced side effects and lower plasma terbutaline concentrations.