Each week we will aim to bring out a concise email that provides 4-5 key pieces of information addressing a specific issue in clinical therapeutics.
This week: The Importance of Using Spacers with Inhalers
Melissa Riley, Regional Pharmacist Manager, Ward MM
It is commonly known that 90% of patients do not use their asthma devices correctly. Incorrect inhaler device use can contribute to poor asthma control, loss of short-acting beta2 agonist (SABA) effect, reduced deposition of medication in the lungs and increased medication usage. These factors can result in poorer clinical outcomes, greater burden on medical services and reduced quality of life.
- The use of a spacer device with metered dose inhalers, especially in the elderly can result in 90% more medication entering the lungs.
- Advantages of spacer device use include increased deposition of medication. Using a metered dose inhaler alone there is only 10-12% deposition, however with a spacer device there can be greater than 30% deposition.
- The use of a spacer can result in reduction in oral complications of inhaled corticosteroids such as oral candidiasis, throat irritation, xerostomia and coughing.
- Correct care/maintenance of spacers is important to ensure optimal benefits are achieved. They should be cleaned once a month in warm soapy water and replaced every 6-12 months. A flyer with correct washing instructions can be obtained from Ward MM or ask your clinical pharmacist for advice.
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