Many of you may be familiar with ProAir HFA, one of three brand-only albuterol inhalers currently available. Now, the FDA has tentatively approved a new dry powder inhaler from TEVA pharmaceuticals that will be known as the ProAir Respiclick.
When the pharmaceutical company first filed their new drug application (NDA) for the medication, in July of 2014, it was going to be called ProAir Spiromax, but the name has since changed.
While the current ProAir inhaler uses a propellant to get your medication to you, the dry powder inhalers or DPIs work a little bit differently.
What is a dry powder inhaler (DPI)?
A dry powder inhaler contains medication only in powder form. Dry powder inhalers do not use any propellant to help spray or disperse the medication into the lungs.
Dry powder inhalers rely on your ability to inhale the powder medication in order for it to be dispersed properly.
Several medications for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are available as DPIs, including:
What are some advantages to using a DPI?
For some, it may be easier to use. No hand-breath coordination is required, and you do not need to be able to depress the canister and inhale and the same time. DPIs also do not need to be primed before use, or after long periods without use.
What are some disadvantages to using a DPI?
DPIs may be more difficult to get the hang of at first if you’ve never used one before, and the initial instructions may be more challenging if you’re used to other types of inhaler.
You must be able to breathe the medication into your lungs rapidly on your own, and a DPI cannot be used with a spacer.
The devices may also differ between medications, which can be confusing.