Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease inhalers: Techniques for proper use

Allergy Asthma Proc. 2016 Jul;37(4):279-90. doi: 10.2500/aap.2016.37.3954.

Abstract

Background: Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affect millions of Americans. Inhalers are necessary to manage these diseases, but physicians and patients often struggle to use them correctly.

Objective: To simplify inhaler use for patients and physicians.

Methods: This article compares the various inhalers used to treat asthma and COPD, their techniques for use, and the steps necessary to prime the inhaler if required. The authors provide a suggested standardized technique for the use of metered-dose inhalers, dry powder inhalers, and soft-mist inhalers to provide for a more universal approach for the use of these medications and summarizes how each product is to be used per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved package insert.

Results and conclusions: The simplified techniques proposed in this article for the use of metered-dose inhalers, dry powder inhalers, and soft mist inhalers used to treat asthma and COPD may limit inhaler misuse and aid in proper medication delivery and treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / classification
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Bronchodilator Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / classification
  • Dry Powder Inhalers
  • Humans
  • Metered Dose Inhalers
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy
  • United States / epidemiology

Substances

  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Bronchodilator Agents