One out of three patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) uses their inhalers incorrectly, a new study shows.
The study, presented at CHEST 2007, the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), found that 32.1% of patients made at least one essential error while using a dry powder inhaler (DPI) and that the error rate increased with age and severity of airway obstruction.
“The frequent misuse of dry powder inhalers can lead to the inappropriate dosage of medication, which can result in increased morbidity and mortality for patients,” says study author Siegfried Wieshammer, from the Klinikum Offenburg, Offenburg, Germany.
“Our results suggest that inhaler type, age, severity of lung obstruction, and prior training can determine the risk of inhalation errors. These factors should be considered before prescribing an inhaler for a patient.”