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      Patient preferences for inhaler devices in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: experience with Respimat ® Soft Mist Inhaler

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          Current guidelines for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) recommend the regular use of inhaled bronchodilator therapy in order to relieve symptoms and prevent exacerbations. A variety of inhaler devices are currently available to COPD patients, and the choice of device is an important consideration because it can influence patients’ adherence to treatment, and thus potentially affect the long-term outcome. The Respimat ® Soft Mist Inhaler (SMI) generates a slow-moving aerosol with a high fine particle fraction, resulting in deposition of a higher proportion of the dose in the lungs than pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs) or some dry powder inhalers (DPIs). We review clinical studies of inhaler satisfaction and preference comparing Respimat ® SMI against other inhalers in COPD patients. Using objective and validated patient satisfaction instruments, Respimat ® SMI was consistently shown to be well accepted by COPD patients, largely due to its inhalation and handling characteristics. In comparative studies with pMDIs, the patient total satisfaction score with Respimat ® SMI was statistically and clinically significantly higher than with the pMDI. In comparative studies with DPIs, the total satisfaction score was statistically significantly higher than for the Turbuhaler ® DPI, but only the performance domain of satisfaction was clinically significantly higher for Respimat ® SMI. Whether the observed higher levels of patient satisfaction reported with Respimat ® SMI might be expected to result in improved adherence to therapy and thus provide benefits consistent with those recently shown to be associated with sustained bronchodilator treatment in patients with COPD remains to be proven.

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          Comparison of patient preference and ease of teaching inhaler technique for Pulmicort Turbuhaler versus pressurized metered-dose inhalers.

          A multicenter, randomized, open-label, crossover study with two 4-week evaluation periods compared patient preference and ease of teaching correct inhaler technique for Pulmicort Turbuhaler versus pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs). Patients 18 to 65 years of age with stable, mild to moderate asthma, who required or were eligible for inhaled corticosteroid therapy, were randomized to treatment sequences consisting of 4-week evaluation periods with Pulmicort Turbuhaler (budesonide inhalation powder) two puffs (400 microg) bid and one of three inhaled corticosteroids via pMDI: Aerobid-M (flunisolide) four puffs (1 mg) bid, Flovent (fluticasone propionate) two puffs (440 microg) bid, or Vanceril Double Strength (beclomethasone dipropionate) five puffs (420 microg) bid. Patients indicated device preference at study end and completed the Patient Device Experience Assessment (PDEA) questionnaire after each evaluation period. Ease of teaching, time required to master use of the device, percentage of patients demonstrating mastery on the first attempt, and the number of attempts required to demonstrate mastery were assessed. Despite previous use of pMDIs by most patients, Pulmicort Turbuhaler was significantly preferred (p < 0.001) and required significantly less time to master than pMDIs (p < 0.001). Median times to device mastery were 3.67 min for Pulmicort Turbuhaler versus 5.33 min for pMDIs. Patients rated Pulmicort Turbuhaler significantly better than pMDIs on PDEA ease of use (p = 0.0005) and overall satisfaction (p < 0.0001) single-item scales and all four multi-item scales (pharyngeal symptoms, oral sensation, operational use, and inhaler attributes; p < 0.05). Overall, patients preferred Pulmicort Turbuhaler over pMDIs and required less time to be taught how to correctly use Turbuhaler trade mark.
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            Asthma-related exacerbations, therapy switching, and therapy discontinuation: a comparison of 3 commonly used controller regimens.

            Asthma control is the goal of therapeutic interventions. In observational studies, the use of short-acting beta-agonists (SABAs) is a surrogate for symptoms and emergency department or hospital events for exacerbations. To compare asthma exacerbations, medication switch, and use of SABAs among 3 treatment cohorts: fluticasone propionate and salmeterol as a single inhaler (FSC), fluticasone and salmeterol as separate inhalers (FP + SAL), and fluticasone propionate alone (FP). Administrative claims data from approximately 10 million individuals from April 2000 to December 2002 were examined. Patients 15 years or older with claims for asthma, SABAs, and study medications were included in the study. Asthma-related medical and pharmacy claims were evaluated. Multivariate regression techniques were used to model the outcomes of interest, controlling for patient characteristics. The odds of a hospitalization or emergency department event were significantly lower for the patients receiving FSC (n=1013) compared with those receiving FP (n=1130) (odds ratio, 0.75; 95% confidence interval, 0.61-0.93) and those receiving FP + SAL (n=271) (odds ratio, 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.51-0.95). Patients receiving FSC also had a significantly lower risk of switch or discontinuation of index medication and lower rates of postindex SABA use. In this analysis, patients receiving FSC had lower rates of asthma-related symptoms and exacerbations as measured by SABA refills and hospitalization, respectively, when compared with patients receiving either FP or FP + SAL. This observational examination of medical and pharmacy claims data adds to the clinical reports that demonstrate the increased effectiveness of FSC when compared with FP or FP + SAL.
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              Use of gamma scintigraphy to evaluate the performance of new inhalers.

              Many new inhaler devices and formulations involving pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI), dry powder inhaler (DPI), and liquid spray technologies are currently being developed. Some of these novel drug delivery products deposit a greater percentage of the drug dose in the lungs than a conventional chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-based pressurized aerosol, hence providing better drug targeting to the required site of drug action. The noninvasive imaging technique of gamma scintigraphy provides an accurate quantification of the amount of drug deposited in the lungs from inhaler devices together with an assessment of deposition in different lung regions. Respimat (Boehringer Ingelheim, Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany) is a novel liquid spray "soft mist inhaler" that more than doubles deposition in the lungs compared with a pMDI and reduces oropharyngeal deposition, thus providing a degree of drug targeting comparable to that from a spacer device. These data suggest that Respimat should be a valuable addition to the range of devices available for inhalation therapy.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                29 October 2009
                : 4
                : 381-390
                [1 ]Divisions of Pulmonary and Critical Care, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada;
                [2 ]Department of General Practice and Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Richard Hodder, Professor of Medicine, Divisions of Pulmonary and Critical Care, University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital, 1053 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1Y 4E9, Email rhodder@
                © 2009 Hodder and Price, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.



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