Use of pressurized metered dose inhalers in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: review of evidence

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The inhaled route is considered to be the best route to administer drugs for treating respiratory diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), for both safety and efficacy. Inhalation devices are classified into four types – pressuriszed metered dose inhalers (pMDIs), dry powder inhalers, breath actuated inhalers and nebulizers. pMDIs are portable, convenient, multi-dose devices and these advantages have made them very popular with patients. They were introduced in the 1950s as the first portable, multi-dose delivery system for bronchodilators. Even though pMDIs are the most widely used devices for inhalation therapy in asthma and COPD, studies establishing their use and providing clinical data with bronchodilators and combination therapies in patients with COPD are limited. A summary of the use of pMDI with spacers in patients with COPD in terms of lung deposition and impact on lung function are presented in this review article. A review of use of the pMDI device in patients with COPD with different available and prescribed medications (bronchodilators-β2-agonists and anticholinergics, and their combination with inhaled corticosteroids) is discussed.

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