The choice of patient-device interface (face mask or mouthpiece) influences the inhaled mass and the lung deposition of nebulized drugs. The use of a mouthpiece has been shown to double the lung deposition compared with use of a face mask. We have determined the inhaled mass of budesonide using a jet nebulizer with mouthpiece in either a constant output or breath-synchronized mode in children. We have also determined the inhaled mass when the jet nebulizer is used with a nonsealing face mask in a constant output mode. The study was a 1-day, randomized, crossover, single-center study involving 158 asthmatic children (age range 5.1-15.7 years). Nebulized budesonide was administered in three single nominal doses of 1.0 mg by means of a jet nebulizer. The inhaled mass of budesonide was defined as the amount of drug deposited on filters positioned between the nebulizer and the mouthpiece or face mask. The mean inhaled mass of budesonide from different age groups ranged from 1 7.1% to 21.6% of the nominal dose with breath-synchronized nebulization with a mouthpiece. With constant output nebulization with a mouthpiece, the mean inhaled mass ranged from 8.9% to 12.2%, and with a nonsealed face mask the mean inhaled mass ranged from 5.0% to 6.9%. For children using jet nebulizers with mouthpiece, breath-synchronized nebulization appears to be superior to conventional constant output nebulization. The use of jet nebulizers with nonsealing face masks should be avoided.