Not all inhalers are created equally. Inhalers vary significantly in the amount of strength, coordination and lung capacity required to use them effectively. “Inhalers can be expensive—costing up to $350 each—so selecting the best inhaler for the individual patient avoids wasted doses and improves outcomes” notes Jeannette Y. Wick, RPh, MBA, FASCP. Wick summarizes the pros and cons of different types of inhaler devices in an article entitled Selecting an Inhaler: Matching the Device with the Patient's Abilities.
In addition to discussing the different types of inhaler devices, Wick stresses the importance of frequently re-educating patients on proper inhaler technique with teach back to assure effective use. “Compared to orally administered drugs, inhalers deliver the drug directly to the lungs, avoiding systemic circulation, improving safety, reducing adverse effects and increasing effectiveness...Having and knowing how to use an inhaler is critical.”