Correct use of the asthma inhalers is crucial for the success of the treatment
Medicines for asthma should preferably be inhaled due to the quicker action and better tolerability compared to tablets, reports the Federal Association of German Pharmacist Associations (ABDA), referring to the statement of the pharmacist Dr. Eric Martin at an international training congress of the Federal Chamber of Pharmacists. However, with inhalation technology, there are some essential factors to be taken into account so as not to jeopardize the success of the treatment.
According to Dr. Eric Martin can not only worsen handling errors of the asthma medication, but also significantly increase the risk of side effects. Here "daily practice gives most asthmatics the subjective certainty that they are doing everything right", but this is "unfortunately often a fallacy." In order to achieve the optimal effect of the inhalation medication and to minimize the risk of side effects, the inhalation technique is crucial . However, many asthma patients are not aware of this connection.
Hoarseness and fungal infections when used incorrectly There are currently two different types of inhalation medication for asthma available. On the one hand, those affected can use "propellant-powered MDIs that work like small spray cans," on the other hand, powder inhalers are available "in which a powder containing active ingredients is distributed in the air stream when inhaled," the ABDA announcement. In the case of powder inhalers in particular, patients should According to Martin, inhale as strongly as possible. In this way, the powder is “swirled and transformed into a size suitable for the lungs.” When the patient breathes in slowly, particles that are too large are formed, which do not reach the lungs when inhaled. Instead, the medication is deposited in the mouth and throat, which "not only limits effectiveness, but depending on the active ingredient can also lead to side effects such as hoarseness or fungal infections in the oral cavity", reports the Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations.
Asthma medication must be inhaled deeply According to the expert, the opposite of powder inhalers applies to propellant aerosols filled with propellant gas. Here you have to inhale as slowly as possible in order to properly transport the aerosol released when triggered into the lungs. If inhaled quickly, the strongly accelerated particles would deposit in the mouth, explained Dr. Martin. Regardless of the inhalers used, the asthma medication should generally "be inhaled as deeply as possible so that the whole lung comes into contact with the active ingredient", reports the ABDA. After inhaling, hold your breath for five to ten seconds to achieve an ideal effect. According to the ABDA, the following applies: the longer the breathing pause lasts, the better the particles can settle in the airways. In the case of powder inhalers, you should also only breathe out through your nose, otherwise the moist air you breathe could get into the device and the powder still in danger of clumping.
Advice on the use of inhalers In general, asthmatics should use the advice in the pharmacy to regularly learn how they can optimize the handling of their inhalers, explained Dr. This is particularly important, since most asthmatics are treated with several medications in parallel, which could lead to confusion. Therefore, patients must "know the device-specific differences and have the correct use checked again and again at the doctor or in the pharmacy", emphasized Dr. Martin added: "This often means that the success of the treatment can be improved in a very short amount of time." (Fp)
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