Asthma Inhalers Often Misused
Training Cuts Patients' Errors in Using Dry Powder Inhalers for Asthma and COPD
Oct. 24, 2007 -- Dry powder inhalers are often misused by patients with
asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a new German study
The researchers make two recommendations:
- Patients should be trained in the proper use of their dry powder
- Patients should show their health care provider how they use their dry
The study included 224 newly diagnosed asthma or COPD patients who used dry
powder inhalers to deliver medication to their lungs.
When the patients were asked to demonstrate how they use their dry powder
inhaler, 32% made errors.
Patients older than 60 and those with more severe airway obstruction were
more likely than younger, healthier patients to misuse their dry powder
Training the patients in the proper use of their dry powder inhalers reduced
the patients' errors.
A pressurized meter-dose inhaler "might be a valuable treatment
alternative" for patients who can't master the dry powder inhaler, write
Siegfried Wieshammer, MD, and colleagues.
They reported their findings today in Chicago at CHEST 2007, the annual
international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest
Wieshammer works at the Klinikum Offenburg in Offenburg, Germany.