Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A word on Albuterol MDIs

Have to make this quick note on MDIs, particular rescue inhalers....First, I actually preferred the old aerosol MDIs as a parent, although I'm green as can be and I hate CFCs. But those things worked well, particularly if your kids need spacers. Whatever that ozone-eating propellant was, it *worked.* Some of the new ones work well, too - but not as well as the old ones.

Since I've been diagnosed, I've had free samples of Ventolin and Proventil. I liked how well these worked, and I also liked that they had counters. But of course, my insurance doesn't cover name brands.

There are two generics I seem to be able to get from my pharmacy. One is Warwick. I like this one. Despite the fact that there's no counter! But it works well and reliably.

The other generic I get is ProAir. I do NOT like ProAir. It comes in a red case - maybe you've had it, too? What I find with this product is that you can not press the product down hard enough to get a decent amount of the medication out. Additionally, it clogs. All. The. Time.  To me, this is a big problem. If I actually need my rescue inhaler, I probably need for it to actually work.

What's worse is trying to use ProAir with a spacer. My kids' asthma is FAR worse than mind, and half the time I can't tell if they're actually getting medication.

So in the spirit of brevity: Makers of ProAir  - albuterol is albuterol, the meds are fine, but PLEASE - give us a better MDI!! (And maybe include a counter?)


Anonymous said...

Always shake mdi's before use.


Even when it doesn't make sense.

Even so, if an mdi sits for a day or three without use, it's first shot will be weak, the second will be fine. If your fussy about dose accuracy, point the first shot in the air.

MC said...

I've only used the ProAir, and I don't usually have a problem with it. I've learned to wash red part every few days if I'm using it a lot, and always prime it when I put the canister back into the actuator.
A few months ago I ran out of all my inhalers, and my doctor hadn't yet called the rx for a refill into the pharmacy, so I ended up borrowing one from a friend. Her son doesn't need it very often, and I don't think he had used it for a while. I primed it at first, but didn't see anything coming out. When I pulled the canister out of the red part I quickly understood why: it was clogged. After rinsing it to clean it out and shaking as much water out as I could, I reassembled it and primed it again.... then it finally worked.

I personally don't exactly like the taste of ProAir, but I've never gotten to try any others. It's not horrible, and is less noticeable when I use my AeroChamber. If you're worried that your son isn't getting all the medication, might you try using the AeroChamber Max? It has a little flap thingy that helps you see if they're breathing correctly to get the medicine. Just a thought.

cars said...

I totally agree you with on the red ProAir. It's hard for me to know how well they work since my son is 6, and you can't always get accurate responses from children, but he says it doesn't do anything (we use a spacer too), and I don't see an impact. Hence us using the nebulizer. But the old ones did work, and I wish they had them. I have had better luck with Ventolin with the counter. But still, the old ones were the best. I used to think maybe I could purchase the old style inhaler from outside the US.Thank you for posting.

Matt said...

To be honest, I do not buy the "green" excuse for getting rid of CFC propellent inhalers. The tiny amount of CFCs generated by these is a drop of water in the ocean of dumped refridgeration units, old treated fabrics and smoke stacks. On the other hand, these autohalers don't always discharge when they're supposed to.

Anonymous said...

as of today there is not a generic albuteral available in the us. Pro air is a branded medication made by a generic manufacturer. All albuterals regardless of brand are reccommeded to be cleaned out once a week. You can find directions online or in the package inserts that should accompany your inhaler. Walmart does offer a ventolin 60 dose inhaler for around $10. Yet a normal albuterol inhaler would be 200 inhalations so the 60 dose ventlin would be best for someone who rarely uses it or needs extra for school or grandparents house ect. Hope that helps.