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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2003 Jul 18;55(7):779-91.

Inhalation therapy: technological milestones in asthma treatment.

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University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 20 North Pine Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1180, USA.


The humble origins of the propellant driven metered dose inhaler, as a response to a child's enquiry, initiated an industry which supplies approximately a half billion inhalers globally for the treatment of asthma. These inhalers fall into three major groups: nebulizers; propellant driven metered dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers. Each requires drug formulation, metering and device technology to be successful. In recent years there have been several new developments in the field including auxiliary systems to improve drug delivery from the device to the patient and new categories of device, notably single breath aqueous systems. As device technology improves and our understanding of the disease leads to new drugs the only barrier to therapy is the patient. Patient training and compliance will continue to be important factors in the success, or failure, of inhaled therapy and the role of health care professionals will depend on who sponsors their intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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