Our first priority when considering a inhaler device change must always be to improve disease control. Decisions should be the outcome of an individualised, shared decision-making conversation. Patients who tend to take a quick and deep breath in, and/or don’t use a spacer device, may find a dry powder inhaler more suitable for them. Dry powder inhalers also have dose counters which can help patients with adherence and know when their inhaler is empty. Patients should be reassured that the aim is to improve disease control whilst also reducing environmental impact. See approach to consultations.
All device changes should be reviewed at approximately 4-6 weeks to check suitability, disease control and inhaler technique.
Ideally patients should be on the same device type for preventer and reliever. Inhalers should be prescribed by brand name as devices are not interchangeable.
Placebo devices & checking inhalation technique
It is useful to have placebo devices for all the low carbon inhalers on your local formulary to demonstrate and check inhaler technique. These are available free of charge from pharmaceutical companies. Click here for more information.
Many people also find the In-Check DIAL useful for both assessing which type of inhaler device is suitable and training patients to use the correct technique for their inhaler device. The Trainhaler is useful to teach the correct technique for pMDIs.
The projects in this section apply to patients aged 12yrs and over.
Education: Inhaler device choice
This video explains how to help your asthma patients select the best inhaler device for them.