Inhaler devices - from theory to practice

Respir Med. 2013 Apr;107(4):495-502. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2012.12.007. Epub 2013 Jan 3.


This brief overview of the factors determining lung deposition of aerosols provides background information required by health care providers when instructing patients to use their prescribed inhalers. We discuss differences in the optimal inhalation manoeuvres for each type of aerosol generator and the difficulties patients face. Provision of short, clear instructions with demonstration of critical steps and checking technique during later clinical visits are necessary if these aerosolised medications are to be fully beneficial.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Dry Powder Inhalers
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Medication Errors / statistics & numerical data
  • Metered Dose Inhalers
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods


  • Aerosols
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents