Oral inhaler aerosols
ORAL INHALER AEROSOLS
ORAL INHALER AEROSOLS – INTRODUCTION
An inhaler (or puffer) is a medical device used for delivering medication into the body via the lungs. It is mainly used in the treatment of asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Zanamivir (Relenza), used to treat influenza, must be administered via inhaler.
ORAL INHALER AEROSOLS – INDICATION
Medication for asthma is most commonly taken through an inhaler, which is a device that helps you get the medication straight into your lungs where it is needed. There are two main groups of inhalers, and a few different names that are used. Your doctor will choose a device for you to use, based on the medication you are taking, and a few other factors. Each device is used in a different way, and it is very important that you know how to use your inhaler properly.
ORAL INHALER AEROSOLS – INFORMATION
Inhalers are portable, handheld devices that are available in two types:
Metered dose inhalers (MDI) are the most commonly prescribed. Like mini-aerosol cans, these devices push out a pre-measured spray of medicine. When the person squeezes the inhaler, a measured “puff” of medicine is released. Some MDIs have counters that indicate how many doses remain. If there’s no counter, the number of doses already used should be tracked, so that the inhaler can be replaced on time.
Kids who use a metered dose inhaler also might use a spacer, which attaches to the inhaler and makes it easier to use. A spacer is a kind of holding chamber for the medicine, which eliminates the need to closely coordinate squeezing the inhaler and inhaling the medicine. With an inhaler and spacer, the medicine can be inhaled slowly when the user is ready. So, it’s possible for very young kids and even babies to receive their medications using a metered dose inhaler with a spacer.
Spacers also make inhalers more effective. Sometimes with an MDI, the medicine will reach the back of the throat but not get down into the lower airways. A spacer helps to deliver the medicine into the lower airways, which is where it needs to go to work properly.
Babies and younger kids use a facemask (a plastic cup that covers the mouth and nose) to inhale the medication held in the spacer, whereas older kids can use a mouthpiece. It usually only takes a couple of minutes or less to give medication by metered dose inhaler with a spacer.
Dry powder inhalers deliver medicine in powder form, but they don’t spray out. The user must do more of the work, inhaling the powdered medicine quickly and quite forcefully. At around 5 or 6 years of age, most kids are able to do this.
During an office visit, the doctor may ask your child to demonstrate using the inhaler and offer advice, if needed.
Fluticasone is a corticosteroid that works directly in the lungs to make breathing easier by reducing the swelling and inflammation of the airways. This medication must be used regularly to prevent the wheezing and shortness of breath caused by asthma, bronchitis, or some types of emphysema. This medication does not work immediately. Therefore, it is not used to relieve an acute asthma attack. If an asthma attack occurs, use your quick-relief inhaler (e.g., albuterol, salbutamol) as prescribed.
May cause a cough, a dry irritated throat, unpleasant taste, hoarseness or nasal congestion, pain or headache. If these effects continue or become bothersome, contact your doctor. Notify your doctor if you experience: white-colored tongue, prolonged mouth or throat irritation, vision changes. In the unlikely event you have a serious allergic reaction to this drug, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.