Many of those with asthma may be using their inhalers incorrectly, thereby increasing their risk of asthma attack, according to new research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

Investigators at Propeller Health, in conjunction with the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado, gathered data from 7558 patients, and found that 84% of patients took less than 30 seconds between the first and the second puff of their rescue or controller inhaler. Furthermore, 67% waited less than 15 seconds between inhalations. Only 16% of patients waited more than 30 seconds between puffs, the minimum amount of time necessary to complete the recommended steps.

The recommended dosage of asthma medicines requires 2 'puffs' of the inhaler, and many patient instructions recommend that a patient exhale completely prior to inhaling, inhale the medication slowly and deeply, hold their breath for up to 10 seconds and then wait prior to their next inhalation. These several steps should take between 30 and 60 seconds, according to the authors.

Patients aged 4-11-years had the highest level of acceptable timing between inhaler use, while those aged 18-29 years had the lowest, according to the press release.

"We hope that with this data from digital medicines, patients and doctors will stimulate a renewed push to address known issues in inadequate inhaler technique, which we know can have a significant impact on how patients experience their disease," said Stanley Szefler, MD, director of the Pediatric Asthma Research Program in the Breathing Institute of the Pediatric Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Section at Children's Hospital Colorado, in a prepared statement.


Reference 

84% of people with asthma may be using their inhalers incorrectly, Propeller Health study finds [news release]. Madison, Wisconsin; February 21, 2019: Propeller Health. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/84-of-people-with-asthma-may-be-using-their-inhalers-incorrectly-propeller-health-study-finds-300799662.html. Accessed Feb. 21, 2019.