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What are the different types of Inhalers popularly prescribed by Doctors?

Inhalers are small, portable devices that administer the medication directly into the lungs of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma. They are used to prevent and treat certain chronic diseases’ exacerbations. They have the benefit of minimizing systemic exposure to medicines while guaranteeing that the medicines are delivered specifically to the site of need (i.e. the lungs). Today, a wide variety of inhalers is accessible. The types of inhalers are as follows:

PMDI

The Pressurized Metered Dose Inhaler (PMDI) consists of a canister filled with medicine mixed with a propellant. When the pump is pressed, the canister releases the medication in the form of a mist. This mist is then inhaled by the patient through the mouthpiece. PMDIs are classified into two categories: mechanical and Breath-Actuated Inhalers (BAIs). The former requires the patient to press a button and immediately inhaling, which may be challenging for older, arthritic, or weak individuals. When breathing in, BAIs immediately activate, but the inspiratory volume must be greater than a crucial minimum (usually 30 mL/second).

PMDIs are one of the most commonly used inhalers, but the drawback of a PMDI is that it requires the user to master a unique breathing technique comprising several procedures. To simplify this and to eliminate an operation from the routine, it is often suggested to apply a spacer device in conjunction with the pMDI. It acts as a reservoir for the medicine, allowing the breath to be less precisely regulated. It must, however, be maintained clean to guarantee proper medication delivery. To assist with this edit, non-electrostatic spacers may be used.

Inhalers with Dry Powder

Dry Powder Inhalers (DPIs) are often simpler to use than pMDIs, which is exactly why they were developed. They are appropriate for patients with maximal inspiratory flows (PIF) greater than the device’s minimum. This issue prohibits their use in certain patients who are very fragile or have a severe illness, and they may be unneeded if the time required to PIF is too lengthy.

Nebulizers

While Nebulizers are not technically inhalers, it’s an alternative option for inhaling medicine for people with asthma and COPD issues. If you have severe breathing conditions like asthma and find difficulty in using a conventional inhaler, then a nebulizer could be the perfect fit for you.

A Nebulizer compresses liquid medicine and converts it into a very fine mist that you breathe in through the help of a mouthpiece. These Nebulizers help you in taking your medicine seamlessly while you breathe normally, the only drawback being they are a little bulky and more time consuming as compared to a normal inhaler.

Before considering the above-mentioned inhalers or using them, it is always advisable to consult your doctor for asthma support, and then find the right medication best suited for you.

References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/inhaler-types
  2. https://www.breathefree.com/inhalers-a-z/all-about-inhalers
  3. https://www.canadadrugstore.com/different-types-of-inhalers/
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/in-depth/asthma-inhalers/art-20046382
  5. https://www.verywellhealth.com/common-asthma-medicines-201150
  6. https://asthma.net/treatment/inhalers

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