Medicines to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are usually delivered via metered dose inhaler (MDI) or dry powder inhalation (DPI). Significant coordination is required to use an MDI correctly and DPIs rely on inspiratory flow which may make them unsuitable in severe disease.

Respimat® is a novel device that delivers a fine mist independent of inspiratory force. This mist lasts around six times longer than that produced by an MDI, making coordination of actuation and breath less important. Medication is supplied in a cartridge that must be discarded three months after insertion into the device. Respimat® formulations approved in Australia include the anticholinergic agent, tiotropium; the long-acting β2-agonist, olodaterol; or a combination of tiotropium and olodaterol.

COPD was the fifth leading cause of death and responsible for almost 60,000 hospitalisations in Australia in 2012. Optimal therapy is vital, however up to 90% of patients use their inhalation devices incorrectly. With the release of such an innovative device, it is imperative all patients receive clear instructions prior to use.

References:

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; 2015.
  2. Respiratory Expert Group. Inhalational drug delivery devices [revised 2015 Feb]. In: eTG complete [Online]. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited; 2014.
  3. Spiriva® Respimat® (tiotropium bromide) Australian approved product information. North Ryde: Boehringer Ingelheim Pty Limited. Approved 22 May 2015.
  4. Striverdi® Respimat® (olodaterol (as hydrochloride)) Australian approved product information. North Ryde: Boehringer Ingelheim Pty Limited. Approved 20 Nov 2013.

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