Inhaler therapy is effective for controlling asthma and reducing risk of exacerbations, hospitalisation and poor health outcomes, but appropriate selection of an inhaler device and correct technique in its use are essential. It is important to prescribe an inhaler device that a patient can and will use effectively and to provide patient education about asthma control, including inhaler device training and regular assessment of technique and adherence.
- Despite the availability of effective therapy for controlling asthma symptoms, many people have poorly controlled asthma.
- Australian guidelines recommend a stepped approach to asthma control, starting with low-dose inhaled corticosteroids or as-needed low-dose budesonide– formoterol.
- Assessment of a patient’s inspiratory flow pattern, coordination and comorbidities can guide selection of an inhaler device.
- Adherence to inhaler therapy and inhaler device technique should be assessed regularly and before changing a patient’s therapy.
- Simplifying inhaler regimens by prescribing the same type of inhaler for concomitant inhaled medications can reduce errors in inhaler technique.
- Collaborative multidisciplinary models in primary care can help optimise health outcomes for people living with asthma.