Asthma spacer devices need evaluating

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 10 August 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:320

Doctors have called for a central laboratory to evaluate spacer devices after huge differences were found in spacers' ability to deliver anti-asthma drugs to the lungs.

In a comparative trial of seven different spacer devices published in Thorax (1996;51:835-40) researchers found that whereas one device could deliver 124% of the dose recovered using a metered dose inhaler alone, another may deliver as little as 21% of the same drug.

Overall, large volume spacers such as the Fisonair, Nebuhaler, and Volumatic performed appreciably better than the smaller spacers tested with sodium cromoglycate and salbutamol. The dose of sodium cromoglycate recovered from the Fisonair and Nebuhaler was …

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