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What are hydrofluoroalkane inhalers or HFAs and how do they work?

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Hydrofluoroalkane inhalers or HFAs (formerly called meter does inhalers) provide the drug through a small, handheld aerosol canister. They work like a spray can. You push the inhaler, it sprays out the medicine, and you breathe it in. A tube-like gadget called a spacer can help kids or people with trouble breathing use an HFA more easily.

From: Asthma Inhalers WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Inhaled Medication with a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)."  Asthma Society of Canada: "How to Use Your Inhaler." Science Daily: "New Asthma Inhaler Propellant Effective, But Costlier."  American College of Chest Physicians: "Using Your MDI-Closed Mouth Technique, Patient Education Guide."  American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI): "Cumulative effects of formoterol administered by a dry powder inhaler;" "Inhalers;" and "Anti-inflammatory effects of inhaled steroids delivered by HFA-MDI vs delivery by dry powder inhaler." News release, Merck. Boehringer Ingelheim: "US FDA Expands Approval of Tiotropium Respimat® for Maintenance Treatment of Asthma in Children." FDA. Prescribing Information: Spiriva Respimat.







Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on August 6, 2017

SOURCES: National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Inhaled Medication with a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)."  Asthma Society of Canada: "How to Use Your Inhaler." Science Daily: "New Asthma Inhaler Propellant Effective, But Costlier."  American College of Chest Physicians: "Using Your MDI-Closed Mouth Technique, Patient Education Guide."  American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI): "Cumulative effects of formoterol administered by a dry powder inhaler;" "Inhalers;" and "Anti-inflammatory effects of inhaled steroids delivered by HFA-MDI vs delivery by dry powder inhaler." News release, Merck. Boehringer Ingelheim: "US FDA Expands Approval of Tiotropium Respimat® for Maintenance Treatment of Asthma in Children." FDA. Prescribing Information: Spiriva Respimat.







Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on August 6, 2017

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What are dry powder inhalers (DPIs) and how do they work?

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