Steroid based inhalers

This confusing situation happens often, even when the rescue and maintenance inhalers are of different color. The root problem is lack of standardization among inhalers, with unclear labeling to distinguish between rescue and maintenance inhalers. A contributing cause is lack of proper education for both the caregivers and their patients . All too often proper instructions were not given when the drug was first prescribed. And even when they are provided, patients sometimes don't really understand, or they forget. Either way, having similar inhalers for different purposes is an invitation to error. (This was less likely to be a problem when the drug was studied by the drug companies; see YELLOW BOX above, under 'DPI Type 2'.) The problem is compounded when patients are on multiple inhalers, eg, Proventil for rescue, Advair and Spiriva for maintenance. That's 3 separate devices with two different purposes -- easy for the patient to get confused. (Pills and capsules come in many colors and sizes, but they are all swallowed the same way.) What's needed is a universal delivery device for all inhalers, with perhaps just two colors: red for rescue drugs and green for maintenance drugs. Anyone with clinical interest in the inhaler problems discussed above (Errors 1 & 2) should definitely read Problems With Inhaler Use: A Call for Improved Clinician and Patient Education , by James B. Fink and Bruck K. Rubin (Respiratory Care, Sept 2005, Vol 50, No. 10, pages 1360-75). 3. Not checking some objective measurement of the patient's air flow obstruction. Every patient should have a breathing test to ascertain the degree of impairment caused by the asthma. The most frequently performed test is 'spirometry', which takes just a few minutes and requires the patient to exhale forcefully thru a testing device (shown below).
A patient performing the spirometry test


Graphs from a normal spirometry test; left panel, graph of flow vs. volume; right panel, graph of time vs. volume.

If the device is a modified or enhanced version of a legally marketed device, whether it be modifications in hardware, software, features, accessories, components, or intended use, the discussion should include this information, along with a rational for each modification. If the modifications are being implemented to correct problems, this should also be addressed. If the device comes in a variety of configurations, sizes, or accessories, or is sold with a variety of other components, every configuration or combination should be included in the comparison and 510(k) numbers or proof of preamendment status for components or accessories should be provided.

Steroid based inhalers

steroid based inhalers

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