February 8th, 2016 | The Blog
Inhalers are used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
Types of Inhalers Explained
Dry powder inhalers or DPIs are breath activated medications that stay in an inhaler until a patient’s inhalation releases and activates the medication. DPIs are different from pressure metered-dose inhalers or MDIs because they do not need hand-breath coordination. Since some patients have trouble with the hand-breath coordination, DPIs are a good treatment choice.
There are differences between the medication delivery with DPIs and MPIs. They include the following:
Dry Powder Inhalers
Most DPIs require the patient to push a button, twist the device, load a separately packaged capsule or slide a lever down to release the medication. This requires coordination and, sometimes, some extra help from a caregiver.
There are new DPIs on the market that load the medication doses automatically, once the inhaler cap is opened.
There is a new albuterol DPI, ProAir RepiClick, which loads the medication when the cap is opened. Ellipta, used to treat COPD, is another automatically loading inhaler that is new to the market.
Inhaler Use and Care
There are a few important guidelines to using a dry powder inhaler:
How to use an inhaler:
When using a DPI inhaler, it is important to follow the manufacturer and prescriber’s instructions for the most effective treatment.
There are many inhalers available on the market so it is also critical that patient’s keep a log about their symptoms and potential side effects so the prescriber can reevaluate the efficacy of a particular inhaler. There are plenty of options from which to choose and sometimes, adjustments need to be made and inhalers changed to accommodate a patient’s symptoms.