Hidden confusion: the options for treating asthma
Asthma treatment involves a bewildering array of factors. Daniel Aston tries to clear a way through the quagmire that is inhalers, guidelines, drugs, and more…
For a respiratory consultant who sees patients with asthma every day it is probably second nature to prescribe a “Ventolin metered dose inhaler with a Volumatic spacer.” They will know that the patient will soon be happily inhaling salbutamol because the two devices fit together properly and the correct drug has been prescribed.
For medical students attached to a respiratory firm for less than two months, it is difficult not to envisage prescribing a “Serevent metered dose inhaler with a Nebuhaler spacer” in the hope that the patient will somehow be able to get a good dose of fluticasone from them.
Confused? Not surprising, as asthma treatment is a confusing business to all but the very experienced. This article will try to clear up some of the confusion and explain some of the other points about treating asthma.
The problem with MDIs is that they are difficult to use: a