Related medical expenses compounded by absences from work and school total billions of dollars each year, costs which may have been prevented with proper treatment.
Today, there are more than 250 inhaler brands on the marketiii providing targeted delivery of medication to the lungs with reduced side effects when compared to oral medications.
Users typically own more than one inhaler, and with so many brands available, problems can result if these inhalers are designed to operate in different ways. It should come as no surprise that less than 10 percent of people use their inhalers correctly.iv
To help reduce errors associated with inhaler use, guidelines recommend the addition of a valved holding chamber—a device that attaches to an inhaler and captures medication as it sprays out. Valved holding chambers streamline delivery of medication and maximize how much medication is delivered into the lungs.
The most commonly prescribed metered-dose and soft-mist inhalers recommend the use of an AeroChamber Plus Flow-Vu chamber in their product information to ensure that the optimal dose of medication is received.v
Since its introduction in 1983, the AeroChamber brand of chambers has been continually updated, the most recent improvement being the introduction of an Intermediate Mask to its family of small-, medium- and large-sized masks.
An inhaler mask is a cone-like device that fits over the nose and mouth and helps enhance the amount of medication that reaches the lungs. ComfortSeal masks are anatomically designed for different face sizes and shapes, reducing unwanted gaps and minimizing the distance between the mask and the user.
Masks help users overcome challenges they may experience while determining when to inhale after activating the inhaler, resulting in optimized medical benefits and improved outcomes. With the introduction of the new intermediate mask size, the AeroChamber Plus Flow-Vu chamber product line becomes the only chamber currently U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k)-cleared for use with both metered-dose inhalers and the new soft-mist inhaler formats (Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany).
The majority of metered-dose and soft-mist inhalers available on the U.S. market have been tested with at least one Valved Holding Chamber, named in the drug’s product monograph. This pairing is a result of extensive pre-market testing to ensure the delivery system is both safe and effective. Different inhaler/chamber combinations not validated together may not result in delivery of the intended therapeutic dose.vi Users, clinicians and pharmacists should all be aware that these delivery systems are not interchangeable, as differences in drug delivery to the lungs may occur.vii
i CDC.gov (2019). CDC - Asthma. [https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/most_recent_national_asthma_data.htm] Accessed 08 Apr 2019.
ii Torabipour et al. Tanaffos 2016;15(2):75-82.
iii Capstick T, Clifton I. Expert Rev Respir Med. 2012; 6(1):92-101
iv Price D, et al. Respiratory Medicine 2013; 107, 37-46
v Study Summary – AeroChamber® Brand of VHC, April 2018 (p 13-15)
vi D Beradino F. Int J Drug Del; 2012;4:336-340.
vii Blake et al. Eur Respir J. 2012