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Inhaled Medication Delivery Systems in COPD Management

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a debilitating condition affecting approximately 24 million people in the United States. Because many pharmacologic treatments for COPD are administered via inhalation devices, proper use of these devices is critical to optimal treatment. This page provides education on the selection of appropriate COPD treatment options, including device selection, to stabilize disease and prevent exacerbations.

Supported by independent funding from

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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Polling Question

In your practice, which of the following is the most common reason for incorrect inhaler use in patients with COPD?
Inadequate education on inhaler use
Changes in physical and mental capabilities
Confusion about technique resulting from use of multiple devices
Substitution between prescribed and dispensed inhalers
Low inspiratory flow rate

Related Resources

Downloadable Slide Kit

A Review of COPD Inhaler Devices and Pharmacologic Therapies


Clinical Reference Articles

Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease 2017 Report. GOLD Executive Summary  

Guiding Principles for the Use of Nebulized Long-Acting Beta2-Agonists in Patients with COPD: An Expert Panel Consensus  

Meeting the Challenge of COPD Care Delivery in the USA: A Multiprovider Perspective  

Objective Assessment of Adherence to Inhalers by Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease  

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Exacerbation and Inhaler Device Handling: Real-Life Assessment of 2935 Patients  

Device Errors in Asthma and COPD: Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis  

What the Pulmonary Specialist Should Know About the New Inhalation Therapies  

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Steering Committee

Nicola A. Hanania, MD

Steering Committee Chair

Associate Professor of Medicine; Director, Asthma Clinical Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

James F. Donohue, MD

Professor; Emeritus Division Chief, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

MeiLan K. Han, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine; Medical Director, Women’s Respiratory Health Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Barry J. Make, MD

Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine; Co-Director, COPD Program, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado

Fernando J. Martinez, MD

Professor of Medicine; Chief, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Division, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York

Barbara P. Yawn, MD

Professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota