There are several ways to get an asthma drug into your lungs. The most common
- Metered Dose Inhalers (MDI) and Spacers
- Dry Powder Inhalers
Each of the methods has a few pros and cons, but all are effective. Nebulizers
are not as commonly used at home as they were in the past. The method to use
is partly a matter of personal preference, but it also depends on your age,
ability to use MDIs, and the drugs you have been prescribed. Some people use
multiple methods, using a nebulizer while relaxing at home and an MDI when
they are "on the go."
Asthma drugs can also be delivered as pills, capsules, liquids, or injections,
but these methods are not routinely used for most patients. They require the
drug to be absorbed into the bloodstream before making its way to the lungs,
and therefore require higher doses. These methods are more likely to have side
effects and take longer for the drug to work. Only people with severe persistent
asthma should be considered for regular use of oral medications (pills and
Review Date: 5/16/2007
Reviewed By: Alan Greene, M.D., F.A.A.P., Department of Pediatrics, Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine; Chief Medical Officer, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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