Metered Dose Inhalers
Metered Dose Inhalers
Metered Dose Inhalers(MDIs) are for the delivery of all kinds of inhaled medications. These medications include instantaneous relief bronchodilators such as Proventil®, Albuterol® and Ventolin® and controlling medications like Glucocorticoids(QVAR®, Flovent®, Pulmicort® etc.) and Cromolyn(Intal®). The delivery mechanism works by the pushing down of the top portion of a canister that releases a measured quantity of aerosolized medication. A metered dose inhaler is made up of a canister with the medication under pressure, a valve for metering and a stem and a mouthpiece actuator.
The 2008 and the 20009 Inhalers – The metered dose inhaler contains the medication suspended in a mix of preservatives, flavoring agents, surfactants, propellants and dispersal material. Chloroflurocarbon (CFC) was the usual propellant that was used to propel the medication to the lungs. However CFC, as it was commonly known was banned in the United States since 2008, as it was one of the causative agents for the damage that is occurring to the ozone layer. CFC-free propellants that use Hydrofluoralkane (HFA) are now available. Compared to CFC using canisters, HFA devices deliver a softer flavor. This, however, doesn’t mean that the drug is not getting to the lungs. Another variety of CFC known as Cromolyn will be in the market throughout the 2009s.
The disadvantage with the use of HFA inhalers is that they should be cleaned periodically as there is the possibility of blockage due to the buildup of residual medicine. Each manufacturer provide an instruction manual that should be read through carefully as they detail the use of the device.
HFA canisters are probably costlier than the CFC ones. If you have any difficulty in meeting your medical expenses, consult your healthcare provider; there may be assistance programs on hand.
HOW TO USE THE METERED DOSE INHALER – Specific instructions for the use of the inhaler is provided by the manufacturer in the instruction manual that accompanies the product. However, the following general instructions may be followed when preparing the inhaler for the first time.
Shake the inhaler for a just a few seconds,
Release a small dose of the medication by pressing down on the canister. Repeat for three times. Keep the canister away from the face to avoid spraying of the medicine into your eyes.
This is to prime the inhaler. Once primed it can be used normally and does not require priming unless the inhaler was not used for a period of two weeks or so. When the inhaler is used for medication, rinse your mouth after inhaling. Spit the water out. Do not swallow it.
MAKING BEST UES OF YOUR INHALER – The following tips will help you to get the best out of your inhaler.
Don’t forget to take the cap of the inhaler.
Ensure that there the canister contains medicine.
Inhale through the mouth and not through the nose.
Simultaneously while pressing down on the canister, take a deep breath but slowly.
If you find it difficult to coordinate your breathing to the inhaling, there are devices such as the Maxair Autohaler® that does the job automatically when you inhale deeply.
CLEANING THE INHALER – As mentioned earlier, regular cleaning is a must for HFA inhalers. This should be done at least once a week. The cleaning process includes:
Removing of the cap and the mouthpiece from the canister.
Running of warm water through the mouthpiece for not less than 30 seconds.
Shaking off the excess water and allowing the mouthpiece to dry, preferably overnight.
In case the metered dose inhalers is to be used before it is dry, shake it thoroughly; replace on the canister; and test spry it a couple of times in the air away from the face.
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