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Int J Clin Pract. 2007 Dec;61(12):2005-8.

Use of dry powder inhalers in COPD.

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Respiratory Function Unit, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.



This was a study of 30 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients to assess the ease of use and preference of four dry powder inhalers -- accuhaler, aerolizer, handihaler, turbohaler -- the accuhaler and turbohaler are multidose devices, whereas the aerolizer and handihaler are single dose devices.


None of the subjects had previous experience of dry powder inhalers. The correct technique for each inhaler was divided into 12 steps including one critical step that if not performed would result in no drug delivery. Subjects were shown the correct technique for each inhaler in a random order and were assessed immediately and 1 h later. Each subject was asked to rank the four devices for preference and ease of use, as well as to assess how comfortable it felt to inhale through the device using a visual analogue scale.


The numbers of perfect scores were not significantly different between devices, but the number of fatal errors that would result in no drug delivery was significantly more common in single dose devices (p < 0.01). There were significant differences in the rankings of each device (Friedman test, p < 0.005) with the turbohaler being ranked first most often and the handihaler last. The turbohaler scored highest for comfort of inhalation and the accuhaler lowest, but differences were small.


In COPD patients starting on dry powder inhalers, multidose devices appear to be preferred, have fewer problems and are easier to use effectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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